The President of the Republic, Mr Danny Faure, witnessed the official opening of the International Secretariat of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) during a ceremony held at State House this morning.
This historical occasion marks the official opening of the first secretariat in the Southern hemisphere, now located in Seychelles which is internationally recognised for its leadership on ocean governance and the blue economy. The Fisheries Transparency Initiative is a unique effort that complements and supports other national, regional and global efforts for achieving responsible fisheries governance. It seeks to increase transparency and participation in fisheries governance for the benefit of a more sustainable management of marine fisheries.
During his opening remarks, the Director of FiTI, Mr Sven Biermann, stressed on today's official ceremony as being a significant milestone following 4 years since the creation of FiTI and the crucial strategic role it plays being located in the Seychelles. "We are very grateful for the government's commitment to host the International Secretariat of the Fisheries Transparency Initiative in the Seychelles, in one of the world's most important fishing regions," said Mr Biermann.
"It is to acknowledge that coastal countries and island nations all around the world face a complex challenge: ensuring that fishing and fish trade contribute to income, employment, food and nutrition for millions of people, while also conserving marine biodiversity for future generations and considering the impact for other sectors" added Mr Biermann.
In his official address, the Vice-President, Mr Vincent Meriton, who is also responsible for the Blue Economy Department, retraced the journey since Seychelles' endorsement of FiTi in February 2016 and explained Seychelles' Government commitment that has today become a reality. "It is a pleasure to see our commitment turn into reality today. We are officially opening the offices in Seychelles, which will in time and with the support of donors, grow into the international secretariat that we all wish and deserve for FiTI.
Transiting to sustainable fisheries is and will be particularly challenging in the Indian Ocean. Our Ocean is populated by numerous coastal states that differ greatly in terms of their socioeconomic context, culture and aspirations. The institutions we have erected to govern the exploitation of these such resources require strengthening and support" said Vice-President.
Also present at State House for the end were Ministers, other senior government officials, FiTI Stakeholders, industry partners, members of the diplomatic corps, and other distinguished guests.