Press release

Seychelles and Mauritius in discussion to renegotiate Fisheries agreement

January 23, 2015

In view of the renegotiation of the Seychelles – Mauritius Fisheries Agreement, representatives from the Republic of Seychelles and the Republic of Mauritius met from the 20th to the 22nd February 2015 in Victoria, Mahé, Seychelles.

The Seychelles Delegation was led by Mr Philippe Michaud, the Chairman of the Board of the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA), and the Mauritius Delegation by Mrs Mylavadee Mudaliar, Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands. The list of Participants is attached as Annex 1.

Discussions were held in an open and constructive manner, which helped reached a common understanding of the necessity to have a timely renewal of the Agreement to ensure continuity of fishing operations.

In view of this need for continuity, both parties agreed that the reciprocal fishing agreements need to be signed at latest before the 11th March 2015. It was agreed for the parties to exchange the proposed reciprocal fishing agreements before the second round of negotiation scheduled for 23 to 25 February 2015 in Port Louis, Mauritius.

The Seychelles Delegation presented their proposal with focus on development in the sector, highlighting the needs to incorporate international obligations in the agreement, and addressing sustainability issues as well as port State obligations.

The Mauritius Delegation responded that it had come to the Seychelles with a view to discussing the reciprocal agreements taking on board the spirit of regional co-operation that have been embedded in both outgoing reciprocal agreements in the interest of both parties.

The Mauritius Delegation requested for the reciprocal nature of the agreement to be maintained and the Seychelles Delegation had no objection to the reciprocity of both agreements.

On this basis, both sides agreed to the process of having an exchange of reciprocal agreements prior to the next round of negotiation.

It was agreed that the discussions relating to fishing opportunities and licence fees as presented by the Seychelles Delegation would be further addressed at the next round of negotiation. Ate the request of the Mauritius Delegation, The Seychelles Delegation agreed to reconsider the proposal made regarding fishing opportunities and licence fees. The Mauritius Authority would submit counter proposal.

An examination of the text of the proposed Seychelles draft agreement and its Annex was undertaken. The Mauritius Delegation has agreed to propose a text on the same line to reflect reciprocity of the bilateral fishing agreements.