An MoU has been signed in Seychelles to commission a study on how to raise the standard of port services in the region to similar levels throughout the 'Vanilla Islands'. Seychelles currently holds the presidency of the Vanilla Islands group, which comprises Seychelles, Mauritius, Madagascar, Reunion, Mayotte, and the Maldives.
The chief executive of the Seychelles Ports Authority, Ronny Brutus, said that “the study will also help to compare the different ports in the region to bring all ports to the same standard to meet the expectation of visitors. It will help us to adopt the best practices offered by other ports.”
The study is being financed by the European Union and the Agence Française de Développement at a cost of $360,000. The study has been awarded to Inchcape, a company with which Mahe Shipping has enjoyed a long relationship over many years.
More details can be read here.
Mahe Shipping has donated SR20,000 to Island Conservation Society, managers of Aride Island Nature Reserve. Funds have been allocated towards the restoration of the island's historical plantation house.
The Plantation Lodge of Aride is one of the few surviving examples of the French Creole colonial architecture of Seychelles and the skills used by the early inhabitants to adapt their native materials and technologies and produce buildings adapted to local climatic conditions. It is an important part of the cultural heritage of Seychelles and its loss would be very regrettable.
The date of construction of the Aride Plantation Lodge is not known with certainty. Historical comparisons, for example, to the Silhouette plantation lodge and the Presidential house on La Digue, suggest the early twentieth century. In 1883 Aride was visited by Marianne North, who produced a famous painting of a Takamaka tree described as “the only shade in Ile Aride”. This shows the location, but with a few small houses and so, pre-dates the construction of the lodge.
The first private owners of Aride were the Lablache and Payet families. In 1874 the island passed to Nancy Chenard and in 1914 to Henri Chenard who owned it for nearly 60 years. It is almost certain the building was constructed by a member of the Chenard family. In 1973, Aride was purchased by Christopher Cadbury on behalf of Royal Society of Wildlife Trusts. Aride was declared a Special Reserve in 1975. In 2004, the island was leased to Island Conservation Society of Seychelles.
The Lodge lies on the Aride coastal plateau, between the hill and the sea, separated from the staff houses (La Cour) by an avenue of trees. It is located well inland, facing south towards the sea, giving it an ideal location with a view towards the beach, but with sufficient shelter from the southeast monsoon winds. There is a well nearby, providing a supply of fresh water. Originally the immediate vicinity was cleared of vegetation, but this has now become overgrown.
A new quay to reduce unloading time of purse seiners and relieve congestion in the Seychelles’ Port of Victoria has been offically opened. Ile du Port Handling Services (IPHS) port is a 425-metre commercial fishing quay adjacent Port Victoria.
IPHS constructed and will manage the quay, carrying out stevedoring operations and other port activities. The port will be transferred to the government after recovery of construction and financing costs of US$18 million.
Almost 90 percent of tuna caught in Seychelles’ waters transits Port Victoria. The port is the third largest public-private partnership project made by the Seychelles Government, the others being the Indian Ocean Tuna canning factory and Land Marine, which provides stevedoring at Port Victoria.
The partnership for the port project was between the Seychelles’ government and Luxembourg-based Jaccar Holdings.
Seychelles Government also plans to extend the commercial port to 600m in length.
Seychelles Nation has reported that 38 security personnel from the Seychelles Ports Authority, Seychelles Coast Guard, Anti-Narcotics Bureau, Maritime and Rescue Coordination Centre and Seychelles Maritime Safety Administration have undergone training in anti-terrorism security at Port Victoria.
The training, conducted by security specialists from the Naval Criminal Investigative Service of the US Navy, aims to raise Port Victoria’s security standards to international safety norms required by the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code.
The training was undertaken after the American Coast Guard had placed Port Victoria on an advisory list for being unsafe after it discovered a number of deficiencies in terms of anti-terrorism security. The training is to tighten up the loopholes in security at Port Victoria through conducting proper search of vehicles, cargo and personnel. The training forms part of a collaborative effort by the American and Seychelles governments to get Port Victoria to be struck off from the advisory list.
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