Sustainability: Seychelles and Mauritius to collect more data on sea cucumbers in JMA

General |Author: Rita Joubert-Lawen Edited by: Betymie Bonnelame | March 19, 2024, Tuesday @ 15:08| 3661 views

The harvesting of sea cucumber in the Joint Management area is exploratory fishing. (Seychelles Fishing Authority)

More scientific data is to be collected on the sea cucumber species found on the Mascarene Plateau to be able to develop sustainable exploitation, said a top official from Seychelles.

The director general for policy and ocean governance, Chrissant Barbe, made the statement in a press interview at the 31st meeting of the Seychelles-Mauritius technical committee of the Joint Commission of the Extended Continental Shelf on Tuesday.

The meeting addressed matters related to the Joint Management Area (JMA), an Extended Continental Shelf in which Seychelles and Mauritius share joint jurisdiction. The JMA extended continental shelf covers an area of about 396,000 square kilometres in the Mascarene Plateau Region.

Since 2011, Mauritius and Seychelles have exercised joint jurisdiction over the seabed and subsoil of the JMA to explore and exploit living and non-living resources, including sea cucumbers.

"We want to move a bit further down in the south of the area, as we are now mainly operating in the north so that we can see what's going there and balance the management," said Barbe.

Among the information to be collected in the area will be finding out what species live there and how much sea cucumber stocks are found there.

According to Barbe, this will allow the authorities of both countries to commercialise the activity in a sustainable manner.

the 31st meeting of the Seychelles-Mauritius technical committee of the Joint Commission of the Extended Continental Shelf is taking place in Seychelles. (Seychelles Nation) Photo License: CC-BY 

The last JMA meeting was held in Port-Louis Mauritius in July 2023 in which a new Strategic Plan 2023-2028 was revealed. The plan was made to ensure that maritime activities in the JMA are implemented rationally and sustainably to allow for the most use of the resources for the benefit of the people of the two countries.

"We are now in the process of establishing the committees we need to implement our strategic plan. We already have a zoning framework in place, we are now looking at how to make it work," added Barbe.

He told SNA that other tangible developments following their last meeting is that they have made progress where their Information Technology (IT) is concerned.

"Our website, our SSTL [Seychelles Sustainable Tourism Label] certificate, and our e-mails are all working well. What is left now is for Mauritius and Seychelles to join and exchange information very soon," he said.

The Seychelles and Mauritius representatives also discussed carbon credit - an economic component based on environmental protection, and Barbe said, "Before we embark on this component, we are going to assess the potential of actually embracing it."

The JMA will be working on a policy to guide it on how to address the carbon credit issue.

Tags: Joint Management Area, Mascarene plateau, extended continental shelf


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