Press release

Victoria and Colombo twinned; greater development in tourism and fisheries

August 1, 2014

Ties in fisheries and tourism between Sri Lanka and Seychelles are expected to be developed further in the near future.

This is the result of a twinning accord signed recently between Colombo and Victoria, the two countries’ respective capital.

The agreement was signed at the Colombo Town Hall by the Mayor of Victoria Jacqueline Moustache-Belle and the Mayor of Colombo A.J.M Muzammil. The Mayor of Victoria was accompanied on that visit by elected member of the National Assembly for Bel Ombre, Galen Bresson, whose constituency is also set to benefit from this partnership.   

Sri Lanka is an emerging market in all ways and will soon be one of the major forces in the Indian Ocean with its amazing untapped potential and good infrastructure.

During their visit in Sri Lanka both Mrs Moustache-Belle and Mr Bresson attended meetings with representatives of the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Development as well as of the tourism sectors of Sri Lanka.

They also got the chance to discuss with specialists in aquaculture, designers of fishing boats and researchers.

The visit was an opportunity to build stronger links by promoting friendship, while also exchanging experiences and knowledge. 

Speaking to Seychelles Nation upon their return, Mr Bresson said that the strong community of fishermen in Sri Lanka was very much like that of Seychelles.

“However Sri Lanka has a very dynamic and growing economy which has enabled it to develop and expand its fisheries industry to greater heights over the past few years. This has made it an ideal example for Seychelles to model,” he said.

According to Mr Bresson, Bel Ombre’s fish market is still underdeveloped but has tremendous potential, whereas Colombo already has an impressive set-up which we can take example from. 

Like Seychelles, Colombo had a central market which soon faced constraints because it was unable to expand. 

A decision was then taken to decentralise the market which at first received negative feedback, but is now highly impressive accomodating all the facilities.

The new market even has banking facilities, cafeterias and services for freezing fish and exporting it, all in the same location. 
He said based on what he saw, the Bel Ombre market could now be expanded without having to decentralise it. 

Mr Bresson announced that they will soon create an association, but for the time being they will be focusing more on artisanal fishing. 

“It is important for us to make the price of fish more affordable to everyone and we believe that by getting new blood into the industry and promoting artisanal fishing, we will be able to achieve this aim as well as keep the tradition going,” said Mr Bresson.

In the future there will be activities focusing around fisheries.

Sri Lanka has also been conducting a lot of research in aquaculture due to their depleting nearshore fisheries. Aquaculture, also known as aqua farming, is the farming of aquatic organisms such as fish, crustaceans, molluscs and aquatic plants in a controlled area. Seychelles also hopes to take the example of Sri Lanka and start venturing into aquaculture. 

As for tourism, Mrs Moustache-Belle explained that the two countries are different in this respect, in view of the fact that Seychelles has only recently started catering to a variety of tourists. 

In addition Sri Lanka’s natural beauty, wild animals and products are also very different to Seychelles since the former is a much bigger island and country. 
Mayor Moustache-Belle said the possibility of creating a link between Colombo and Victoria, something similar to the Vanilla Island group concept, will also be looked into.  

The Sri Lankan Ministry of Tourism has also shown interest in investing in tourism establishments in the Seychelles, upon which they have been advised by Mrs Moustache-Belle and Mr Bresson to focus on small scale tourist establishments.

In September a trade fair will take place in Seychelles with the help of the Seychelles Chamber of Commerce and Industry (SCCI) where Sri Lankan businessmen will showcase their products.

As part of the twinning programme a group of 40 Seychellois from Bel Ombre will travel to Sri Lanka soon. Bel ombre will also host heads of sectors from Sri Lanka to analyse the Bel Ombre fish market and give their inputs.

Mayor Moustache-Belle said she is confident the twinning will go well, and that she is certain many good things will come out of it.



Source: Seychelles Nation