World - Seychelles Opening Aquaculture Investment Space to Foreign Investors
The Seychelles has completed a review of its fisheries policy that could soon enable foreign investors to partner with local seafood entrepreneurs as the government focuses on achieving full, sustainable exploitation of its marine fisheries.
According to the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA) Principal Aquaculture Officer Aubrey Lesperance, the island-nation's government “has relaxed the regulation with regards to joint ventures when a partnership is established with foreigners.”
Lesperance told Seychellois media that allowing joint ventures with foreign investors, albeit with a minority stake, is a realization that Seychelles cannot sustain restrictions on local operators keen on reaching out to potential aquaculture partners in the island nation where “aquaculture is not something that many people know about at the moment.”
Currently, the Seychelles has by law limited access to certain zones – the coastal area from zero to two kilometers offshore – to fishing by citizens only.
“We then realized that if we limit this, it will prevent them from getting the capacity that will help them launch their business,” Lesperance said.
The reviewed local/foreign joint venture policy limits foreign stake in such partnership to 49 percent, leaving the majority shareholding to Seychelles citizens.