Wednesday, 8 July 2015

Fishermen workshop on sharks

Group photo with the artisanal fishermen who attended
Green Islands Foundation (GIF) participated in a workshop organized by the Fishermen and Boat Owner's Association (FBOA) to educate fishermen on the role and importance of sharks and how best to adopt sustainable shark fishing practices.

On July 3rd 2015 around 10-15 artisanal fishermen attended the workshop to learn about FBOA's 'Shark Fin Soup' project, supported by the FAO through the Indian Ocean Commission SmartFish Programme. The 'Shark Fin soup' project aims to raise awareness on the importance of sharks in Seychelles through several outreach campaigns and the creation of a children's comic book by local artist Peter Lalande. It is being implemented in collaboration with Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) and GIF.
GIF General Manager explaining the importance of sharks
The workshop was animated by several partners including Smartfish, GIF and SFA. FAO outreach consultant, Florence Wallemacq talked about Sharks in the world and how they are exploited. GIF general manager, Arjan de Groene, presented why we need sharks in the ocean and what their importance is for Seychelles. GIF also took the opportunity to present its Shark Identification guide made under the GEF SGP shark project. SFA staff, Gregory Burke explained shark exploitation in Seychelles, the legislation regarding shark fishing and enforcement. In the afternoon, the artisanal fishers were asked to discuss sustainable methods of shark fishing, which would allow sustainability and conservation of the Seychelles’ shark populations.

GIF's role in the ‘Shark Fin soup’ project includes surveying the knowledge gained and change in attitude and practices in Shark fishing under fishers and children, hosting awareness raising campaigns and providing educational and scientific backstopping to FBOA throughout the project.

The participants of the workshop

The Indian Ocean Commission SmartFish Programme is a regional fisheries programme managed by the Indian Ocean Commission, funded by the European Union and co-implemented by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. SmartFish, which operates in twenty countries throughout the Indian Ocean Region, Southern and Eastern Africa, focuses on fisheries governance, management, monitoring control and surveillance, trade, and food security.

GIF General Manager presenting the Shark ID guide
This first workshop will be followed by two others later during the year. GIF will continue to assist in order to reach out to as many children and fishers as possible to explain why we need sharks!

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