seychelles tagged posts

British family moving to Africa’s smallest island to save its coral reefs

A British family is leaving their comfortable life in London in order to pursue something more. The Seath family, including Karolina, Barry and their two children, are about to move to an island you probably never heard of in a bid to help replenish and revitalize the area’s coral reef, which have been ravaged by the rising sea temperatures off the coast of Africa’s smallest island.

The island in the Seychelles, measuring just 400 metres long by 300 metres wide, will play host to the family’s land-based coral farm, which will only be the second of its kind in the entire world — the other being on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.

“We are just a normal husband, wife, and two kids, living the sort of life that most others do… but we felt the need to make a positive change for oursel...

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Best way to avoid future pandemics? Protect the natural world

Seychelles island

The Seychelles, a string of 115 verdant, rocky islands in the Indian Ocean, recently announced – in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – that it would protect 30% of its turquoise waters from commercial use. Safeguarding some 410,000 square kilometers (158,000 square miles) of the sea will benefit wildlife on the shore and in the water, including 100,000 giant tortoises and some of the world’s last pristine coral reefs. But, beyond helping such species, establishing the new Marine Protected Areas – which was made possible through an innovative debt-swap deal – will also bolster the health, wellbeing, and prosperity of the Seychellois, who number fewer than 100,000 but host more than 350,000 visitors each year.

Currently hosting only a handful of tourists stranded by the pa...

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The island nation with a novel way to tackle climate change

Fisherman Darryl Green welcomes the restrictions

On board Darryl Green’s small fishing boat, just off the island of Praslin in the Seychelles, the water is so clear we can see the seabed. Brightly coloured fish swim around the hull. “You know at my age I’ve seen the fish size decrease dramatically,” the fisherman reminisces. He’s on board his boat with his young grandson in tow.

“If as fishermen, we do not take responsibility for our fish stocks, who’s going to do it? If we don’t start somewhere then in the future we’re going to be very hard pushed to find fish to feed our children.”

Mr Green has been fishing his local bay for decades – but not any more. He’s set up a project with his fellow fishermen to voluntarily stop fishing here for six months of the year, hoping that this will allow fish stocks to replenish.

“This is our office,” ...

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An innovative approach to marine protection

Fishing in the Seychelles

In February 2018 the Government of Seychelles announced the creation of two new areas for marine protection covering 16 per cent (210,000 square kilometres) of its ocean:

• 74,400 square kilometres of mostly deep and some inshore waters surrounding the Aldabra Group, an archipelago 1,100 kilometres west of Seychelles’ main islands where endangered marine species live and breed, or migrate through.

• 136,000 square kilometres of deep waters stretching between the Amirantes Group and Fortune Bank, a swathe of Seychelles’ central ocean that includes areas important for biodiversity conservation, tourism and fishing industries.

The first area is a new Marine National Park that restricts almost all human activities in one of the world’s most ecologically important habitats, the waters a...

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Seychelles reefs face climate change threat

A box of nursery-grown coral is handed to diver

Beneath the crystal-clear waters of the Indian Ocean island nation of the Seychelles, a fight is growing to save the coral reefs that shelter a range of creatures, from tiny invertebrates to the sprawling octopus, from climate change.

The fragile reefs act both as a protective barrier for coastlines and an attraction for the tourists who keep the country’s economy going. But the reefs are also one of the first victims of rising ocean temperatures.

The Seychelles in some areas lost up to 90 percent of its coral reefs in 1998 in an environmental event known as bleaching, where coral in warming waters expel the colorful algae that live within their skeletons and, without their nutrients, starve...

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Seychelles swapping sovereign debt to protect its ocean

A beach in the Seychelles

In what is being hailed as a global first, Seychelles has agreed to swap parts of its debt in return for designating nearly a third of its waters as protected areas. The island nation will secure roughly 210,000 square kilometers (81,000 square miles) at the Aldabra Atoll, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, from fishing, oil exploration, and commercial development.

The debt-for-nature deal was brokered by NatureVest, the conservation investing unit of the US-based The Nature Conservancy. As part of the plan, the group will purchase up to $21.6 million of the nation’s over $400 million debt at a discount, and will redirect the payments from creditors to a newly-created local trust.

The trust will then use the payments to repay the initial capital raised and also fund marine conversation plans...

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Nursing reefs back to life

Coral regrowth

Coral reefs provide a home to fish and protect coasts from eroding. But, they are threatened, and have suffered from ocean warming. In the Seychelles, a project is underway to transplant healthy coral onto dying reefs.

It’s early afternoon as the divers resurface. One by one, members of the team climb on board the boat that has been anchoring off the coast of the small Seychelles island of Cousin in the Indian Ocean. They start shivering in the heavy winds shaking the boat, and look exhausted. The’ve just finished their second dive of the day; each was one-and-a-half hours long.

They’ve been busy underwater, cleaning the ropes and nets of what they refer to as their “coral nursery” – a set of ropes and nets hanging from pipes, which are in turn fixed on the ground...

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