The Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) is promoting the use of less-commercially popular fishes of the island nation in the kitchen with the introduction of a mobile app providing recipes on how they can be cooked.
Dubbed ‘FishBites’, the app was launched to coincide with World Fisheries Day, which is celebrated on November 21 each year, as well as to kick off activities planned for the island nation’s Fisheries Week.
The chairman of the Fisheries Week Committee, Darrel Antat, said that the introduction of the app is in line with one of SFA’s mandates, which is to ensure that fisheries are undertaken in a sustainable manner.
“We have recently seen the coming into force of the Mahe Plateau Trap and Line Co-Management Plan. As such we were looking for different ways to encourage the public to not only consume fish that needs to be managed due to their popularity in the kitchen but rather to enjoy other types of fish,” said Antat.
The Mahe Plateau supports a demersal artisanal fishery that provides food and economic activity for Seychelles. The main species targeted by the handline fishery are snappers, groupers, and emperors, whereas the trap fishery targets rabbitfish, parrotfish, and emperors. 
The Mahe Plateau Trap and Line Co-Management Plan, which seeks to take a co-management approach to fisheries management, proposes a set of measures to regulate fisheries for licensed fishers and recreational and sports fishers. These include a size limit for emperor red snapper and green jobfish, two of the most commercially important species.
‘FishBites’ provides users with a range of fish-based recipes for different cooking levels – from beginners to experts.  Using local ingredients, the recipes can be followed through video instructions.
Currently, the app features 25 recipes that have been developed in-house by SFA. The team expects to put out additional recipes every three months, ensuring a larger variety of recipes for locals and tourists to experience.
In his speech at the opening of Fisheries Week, the interim chief executive of SFA, Phillip Michaud, said that the app will allow everyone to learn how to use and consume the many fish that inhabit the waters of Seychelles. 
The app also allows users to explore and locate fish markets on the main islands of Seychelles, as well as read about the research on fisheries and sea life around Seychelles and its rich environment.
The fisheries minister, Jean Francois Ferrari, outlined that “World Fisheries Day is a time when we celebrate an aspect of our life that is very important and that is our relationship with the ocean, its environment, and sea life.”
“The ministry is doing its best to properly manage this industry. Today we take actions that are not necessarily understood or welcomed by some people, especially when it comes to the management of fish stocks. These are difficult decisions but actions need to be taken early,” said Ferrari.
“One of the things that I learned through the management of the sea cucumber is that conservative measures need to be taken before a stock is under pressure from overexploitation,” he continued.
The Fisheries Week will run from November 21 through to November 25 with a variety of activities such as aquaculture familiarisation visits, an exhibition on the evolution of artisanal fishing in Seychelles and a seafood fiesta roadshow among others.

Source: Seychelles News Agency