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Tuna in Seychelles


Fishing has traditionally played an important role in the socio-economic development of the country in terms of job creation, government revenue and most of all, an important source of animal protein for the population. The Seychellois population today has a per capita consumption of fish protein of around 65kg annually, among the highest in the world.


Industrial tuna fishing in Seychelles has, since its outset in the early 1980s, been integral to the Seychelles economy, being one of two main sources of foreign exchange earnings. With the emergence of Port Victoria as a major tuna landing and trans-shipment centre in the region, coupled with the country’s venture in tuna canning, the importance of the fisheries sector has grown even further to establish itself as a major economic contributor to the country’s wealth generation.


The Seychelles hosts the largest tuna canning factory in the world. Tuna canning operations and exports have grown to become one of the major socio-economic activities in the county contributing to animal protein, job creation and foreign exchange earnings. By the end of 2005, the Indian Ocean Tuna Ltd company was by far the biggest employer in the country, with an estimated 2,500 people, mostly women, employed. Tuna-related activities account for approximately 4,300 jobs which is equivalent to 13% of total formal employment. In 2005 the factory processed over 90,000 tons of tuna and exported around 40,000 tons for a total value of US$ 178 million (RS 980,000 million). This factory alone accounts for 95% of national export.


Port Victoria is not only important for landing and trans-shipment of tuna but also hosts the headquarters of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), the body which manages the tuna stocks of the region. The IOTC is currently running a 5-Year EU-funded Regional Tuna Tagging Project (RTTP-IO) to assess the health of tuna stocks of the Indian Ocean, and to date has tagged close to 120,000 tunas.


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