New research by Seychelles Fishing Authority to help with fish stock management
The findings of two scientific papers published by the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) will give the authority added information to better manage fisheries and contribute to the Seychelles Fisheries Management plan.
The findings of the research were presented by fisheries scientists Nathalie Bodin and Rodney Govinden in a recent press conference.
According to Govinden, such research brings benefits to the authority as the data enables a better understanding of fish stocks and the growth of marine species of the islands. The discoveries have to do with the length and weight relationship of 39 marine species caught in Seychelles’ waters.
“These kinds of information are important to help with the preparation of basic information on the biology of these species, so as what is the relation between length and weight of a fish. So this information can help with stock assessment,” said Govinden.
Bodin, also a volunteer with the not for profit organisation Sustainable Oceans Seychelles, added that these studies are the first of their kind in Seychelles – 115 islands in the western Indian Ocean.
Govinden, currently the manager of Fisheries Research Centre at the Authority, added that research revolved around 39 of the most exploited marine species from 10 families.
These are species caught by the artisanal fishery and were sampled from 2009 to 2020. These included some species which are consumed in large quantities by the locals such as the red snapper, trevally and the rabbitfish. 5,000 samples were collected from both the inner and outer islands.
The second research entitled about the diet of spiny lobsters from Mahe Island reefs looked at feeding patterns of the three species that exists in the island nation. The research has also noted a growth in the population of the lobsters, whose fishing are seasonal and opened for three months every two years.
The scientists have said that these types of scientific research will support the application of accurate size-based analyses for Seychelles fisheries survey data. This enables a better understanding of the ecology of the reef-associated fish component of marine ecosystems and food webs, and improve fisheries research management.
Both studies have been realised with funding from the European Union Sectoral support. SFA also received support from local organisations such as Seychelles Climate Change Adaptation Trust, Island Conservation Society, Seychelles Islands Foundation and Marine Conservation Society of Seychelles.