Four Seychellois trained in Fish Health and Biosecurity for Aquaculture at Rhodes University, South

Seychelles has significant natural resources to develop its aquaculture base and aquaculture has been prioritized as one of the newest food producing sector. However, key support services to sustain the aquaculture sector in Seychelles are pivotal for its sustained growth. Amongst others, veterinary service is an essential component without which the sector cannot develop to its full potential. At present, this service is only available to the agricultural sector and the general public but not to potential aquaculture farmers and other regulatory agencies.

A group of four Seychellois attended an introductory course for fish health and biosecurity training at the prestigious Rhodes University in South Africa. The intense one-week training was attended by Dr. Jimmy Melanie - Veterinarian Doctor and Ms. Erena Dugasse - Veterinary Nurse both from the National Biosecurity Agency (NBA), Mr. Brad Uzice - Fish inspector from the Fish Inspection and Quality Control Unit at SBS and Mrs. Veronica Alphonse-Uzice - Senior Aquaculture Officer from the Seychelles Fishing Authority (SFA).

The aim of the course was thus to introduce the participants to fish health management with a particular focus on marine finfish aspects. The course included diagnostics, pharmacology, water quality and fish stress management all of which are very important to farming fish at commercial levels. The course which included lots of practical work as well as field work ended with an assessment which all participants passed successfully.

“The course was very tough and intense, but we gained a wealth of knowledge. We are now better equipped to notice and deal with health issues in fish”, says Veronica of SFA.

The training course was funded by the SFA through its Fisheries Sectoral Development Fund and the Government of Seychelles. Upon request Rhodes University was able through Prof. Thomas Hecht, an Emeritus Professor of Rhodes University, to customize the intensive training course which was delivered by Dr. David Huchzermeyer Veterinary Doctor with over 30 years’ experience working with Aquatic Veterinary practice. The wealth of knowledge passed on to the local participants has been valuable and this is in line with the Aquaculture Policy “Policy on Coordinated Support for the Development of the Aquaculture Sector” which was approved Cabinet in January 2018.

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