The Seychelles is without a doubt one of the most exclusive destinations on the planet: dream beaches unique in the world, heavenly landscapes, luxury hotels blending harmoniously into the vegetation… but also a place of great biodiversity that attracts the curiosity of many travellers coming from the four corners of the world to discover these wonders of nature.
Develop & preserve
Human activity resulting in global warming is generating a strong negative impact across the planet. The coral reefs of the Seychelles are not spared. The well known 1998 phenomenon “El Nino” was a particularly trying passage for them.
Yet these corals are real treasures for this island state, which are of colossal importance not only for tourism, but also for another important sector of the economy: fishing. Indeed, they allow the development of the biodiversity of the Seychelles seabed. Fewer corals means fewer fish and therefore less successful or less sustainable fisheries .
Fortunately, the Seychellois government is fully aware of the economic and ecological stakes involved in preserving these corals.
Projects for the restoration of coral reefs
Because of this vital “resource” for the archipelago, many projects have been launched, at the instigation of the government but also on the initiative of hoteliers.
Since 2010, financial support from the United States Agency has made possible the plan set up by the Nature Seychelles association “Reef Rescuers”, which aims to maintain more than 45,000 coral fragments in the Cousin Island Reserve. This is one of the largest coral reef restoration programmes in the region.
Nature Seychelles is a leading figure in environmental protection in the Seychelles, participating in the conservation of the archipelago’s biodiversity through scientific, education and training programmes.
What is the principle? The first phase consists of collecting a panel of coral species, after identifying and analysing the websites to be surveyed. In the second phase, the pieces are collected and then fixed between the strands of a rope located in protected areas, so that they can grow serenely. After being placed in the nursery in the third phase, it is necessary to wait 8 to 20 months depending on the species to see a result, and then to be put to the transplant website. A beautiful initiative to preserve the Seychelles environment!
In 2015, with the support of the Seychelles National Park Authority, the Seychelles Deer Island Conservation Programme is undertaking a project to rehabilitate this island off the coast of Mahé, with the aim of maintaining the surrounding reefs, using more than 400 fragments of coral raised in nurseries.
Sensitive to the preservation of this important element, some tourism stakeholders such as Le Meridien Fisherman’s Cove are developing a recreational project called “Unlock the Sea” to protect the coral reef on the northwest coast of Mahé. In partnership with the Marine Society Seychelles, diving experiences guided by marine experts are organized, involving hotel guests in the conservation of Seychelles’ marine life.
The second stage of this programme is focused on the development of nurseries by restoring coral fragments as for the 2 other projects mentioned above.
The development and the number of projects allowing the preservation of corals are constantly flourishing throughout the archipelago. Of course, their vision is long term in order to allow the reconstitution of bleached coral in 1998. These projects bring hope and good news for scuba diving lovers and travellers in search of exoticism and natural wonders.