Tue. Feb 20th, 2024

The President of the Republic, Mr. Wavel Ramkalawan, and the First Lady. Mrs. Linda Ramkalawan attended a premiere documentary screening entitled “Fishermen, the Heart of a Nation”, produced by Mr. Frankie and Mrs. Marie Rignace from the Com and Click Production. The premiere screening took place on Thursday at the Dockland Auditorium. The film aims to safeguard, promote, and educate the public about local sustainable fishing knowledge.

The documentary was financed by the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT). As Seychelles embarked on a sustainable approach to fisheries management with technological advancement, this documentary highlights the importance of traditional fishing that can be adopted in the endeavour. The documentary featured a detailed overview of the history of artisanal fishing in the Seychelles combined with interviews from local fishermen with over 40 years of experience in that sector. It also shows an introduction of new fishing gears and technology, plus how fishing has become more unsustainable. Lastly, an overview of sustainable fishing practices and how fishermen can learn and join these sustainable practices.

In his opening speech, the Minister for Fisheries and the Blue Economy, Mr. Jean-François Ferrari thanked everyone who has supported and encouraged Mr. and Mrs. Rignace throughout their project. He underlined that the past generation of artisanal fishers is an important source of sustainable fishing knowledge and this has thus far not been properly documented in any media form for the purpose of comparison and education for the future. Rather they have been passed on naturally or have been lost over the years.  He hopes that this documentary will be put to good use as historical knowledge.

“Artisanal fishers and the work they do should be better valued by our society. These very hard-working Seychellois remain the pillar of our economy and a cornerstone of our national culture and traditions. We have no right to let them disappear. We have every duty to safeguard them and this is what we are hoping to do today,” reiterated the Minister.

On his part, Mr. Rignace took the opportunity to pay homage to the Seychellois historian, Mr. Tony Mathiot who passed away. He underlined that Mr. Mathiot has contributed immensely to the making of this documentary. He thanked all the Ministries involved, the fishermen, and everyone who has one way or another contributed in this project.

“I sincerely hope that this documentary will inspire you, our citizens, and the youths towards more sustainable fisheries practices in Seychelles,” said Mr. Rignace.

As a way to bring more awareness to this documentary to the young people of Seychelles, Mr. and Mrs. Rignace is expected to organise an educational campaign in February in partnership with the Ministry of Education, Seychelles Fishing Authority, and the Ministry for Fisheries and the Blue Economy.

Among the invitees present to watch the film was also the Vice-President, Ahmed Afif, the Minister for Foreign Affairs and Tourism, Mr. Sylvestre Radegonde, the Minister for Agriculture, Environment and Climate Change, Mr. Flavien Joubert, Principal Secretaries, CEO’s, members of the Diplomatic Corps, local fishermen, and other distinguished guests.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of State House – Office of the President of the Republic of Seychelles.

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