seychelles tagged posts

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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