The Seychelles National Parks Authority (SNPA) is initiating a new action plan to better discuss with boat operators from the inner islands about various issues affecting their operations and to serve as a platform to boost future working relations between the two parties.

The meeting with the boat owners

This was said during a recent meeting hosted by the Minister for Environment and Energy Prof. Rolph Payet, along with the SNPA board with boat owners from Praslin and La Digue.

The meeting, held at the Baie Ste Anne Baha’i centre, followed a series of other meetings by Minister for Home Affairs and Transport Joel Morgan and the Minister for Tourism and Culture Alain St Ange with the boat owners, during which several issues were raised regarding their operations in the marine protected areas.

Constraints during excursions to Curieuse, Ile Coco and St Pierre marine parks were the main points of discussions on the meeting’s agenda. This include lack of mooring facilities, bad state of the BBQ facilities on Curieuse, illegal taxi boats, lack of guides and mismanagement of the island, among others.

Illegal taxi boats – unlicensed boats – was the most discussed issue during the meeting and it was agreed that the SNPA will seek the help of the police and the Seychelles Licensing Authority.
It was pointed out by boat owners that their businesses are being greatly affected by such activity, which they said is not safe for clients.

As for the lack of moorings, the SNPA announced that new buoys will be installed soon with the help of various partners.

Part of the strategies to tackle the issues include upgrading the facilities on Curieuse, including proper and efficient water management, toilet facilities, curbing illegal activities, increasing revenue collection, better collaboration with key stakeholders and other partners and also a review of the present management to fit the current context.

The possibility of setting up a marine parks committee with a boat owners’ representative included will be a boost in updating the management plan of all the marine national park