Seychelles Marks Out New Fish Processing Zone for Private Industry

Seychelles' government has demarcated a first area of land to be used solely as a fish processing zone, where industrial fish processing and related projects will be centrally located.

The piece of land to be allocated to private investors covers 70,000 square metres and is located on the manmade island of Ile du Port off the main island of Mahe.

Besides the fish processing units at the Providence fishing port, this is the first area to be demarcated as part of a land-use plan exclusively for fish processing and related activities.

The special advisor in the Ministry of Fisheries, Roy Clarisse, told SNA that the purpose is to have a center dedicated location close to the seafront where fish processing factories are located. The demarcated area is located north of the IPHS quay at Ile du Port.

"This will allow better access to common facilities and services such as the Central Common Cold Storage or common sewage treatment facilities," said Clarisse.

Clarisse added that because the activities of a fish processing factory can be affected by the type of "other activities in its surrounding, in particular to health requirements of the products, it is imperative that they are located in areas with surrounding activities that are compatible with the activities of fish handling and processing."

The main source of fish being targeted to be processed is tuna, but Clarisse believes that if potential arises to process fish harvested from aquaculture, the government will need to consider.

Around 400,000 tons of tuna are caught by purse seiners annually in the South-West Indian Ocean, of which around 80,000 tons are caught in the Seychelles Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).

"However, as the majority of those tuna caught are transshipped in Port Victoria with around 70,000 tons gross weight processed by IOT (Indian Ocean Tuna), it is more appropriate for having centralized sewage treatment plant," said Clarisse.

The combined fish processing capacity will be dependent on private investors projects and processing methods.

Obviously, with more processing factories Clarisse said that there will be more employment opportunities and the provisions of other ancillary services in support of the factories.

Factories will have to be of approved standards as required by the Competent Authority of the Seychelles Bureau of Standard (SBS) for fish processing factories engaged in export of fish or fish product.

"Unlike processed meat where additives and preservatives are added, processed fish is safe. There are different types or categories of processing, such as filleting, loins, steaks and other processing methods such as pre-cook, and canning," said the special advisor.

In November, last year the new Minister for Fisheries Jean Francois Ferrari explained that more facilities especially those that will support land-based services for fisheries must be made available for the businesses and investors in Seychelles - 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.

The possibility of a wider range of activities can be realised, said Ferrari, such as services the transformation of fish to high-value products fit for exportation.

More From: Seychelles News Agency

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