Ocean Basket Seychelles to build large fish processing company despite delays

Fisheries |Author: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | February 15, 2024, Thursday @ 09:54| 6460 views

At the time the company was mainly working with bycatch from tuna fishing vessels in the Seychelles' waters. (Ocean Basket Seychelles)

Ocean Basket Seychelles is going ahead with plans to build a large fish processing company in a few years' time despite challenges in receiving fish supplies.

The company's managing director, Louis Bossy, told SNA that one of the main reasons for the delay in the initial expansion plans is a lack of fish to process.

In February 2022, Ocean Basket Seychelles announced it is planning to build a European Union-standard fish and seafood processing plant at the Providence Industrial Estate in the eastern Mahe district to increase its production capacity.

This will be done through a loan of SCR40.7 million ($3 million) under the Blue Investment Fund scheme supported by the government of Seychelles and the World Bank.

At the time the company was mainly working with bycatch from tuna fishing vessels in the Seychelles' waters.

Bycatch is mainly tuna caught by vessels that are deemed too small for export to the European market and includes other species such as marlin that are then used for high-end products.

The bycatch is exported to fish processing and distribution companies in European markets, the United States, the United Kingdom, the Middle East, Asia, and many other countries around the world.

Ocean Basket was been allotted 800 square metres of land at the Providence Fishing Industrial Zone and the government set certain standards for the construction to ensure minimal impact on the environment.

In the meantime, Bossy explained that the company is inviting locals, who have fish that they need processed, to do so at their factory in Providence.

"The fishermen come in with their fish, we do the needful and they then proceed to sell them to their respective clients," he said.

At the moment, Ocean Basket processes around 300 tonnes of bycatch per month, harvested from industrial tuna fishing vessels under the requirement by Seychelles law to retain other pelagic species caught in tuna nets.

He revealed that "should we be able to strike deals with vessels already in the Seychelles waters, and still remaining within the set tuna quota, we should be able to address the issue of fish to process."

Seychelles, an archipelago in the western Indian Ocean, has three fleets that comprised 13 purse seiners, mainly Spanish and French-owned vessels, as well as 61 industrial longliners and 39 semi-industrial longliners vessels targeting yellowfin tuna.

"We should be able to bargain with these vessels so that they can supply the local fish processors with stock," said Bossy.

He expected that once the problem is resolved, the factory project will be realised in two years.


Tags: Blue Investment Fund, Ocean Basket Seychelles

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