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Seychelles blue bond: transitioning to sustainable artisanal fisheries and strengthening value chain benefits through innovative finance and partnerships
by Office of the Vice President, Government of Seychelles (Government)
Seychelles has pioneered the blue economy concept as a model for sustainable development and future prosperity since 2014. The model adopted focuses on economic diversification, local employment and investment opportunities, food security, and the effective protection and sustainable use of marine and coastal environments. Seychelles blue economy strategy internalizes global commitments to the SDG agenda and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change, and is consistent with regional blue economy strategies.

Seychelles comparative advantage lies in its natural capital and the tourism and fisheries sectors that dominate the economy are highly dependent on the health of coastal and marine ecosystems. Unsustainable practices will erode this natural capital and incomes for fishers and tourism operators, jeopardizing future investments in the blue economy. Moreover, overfishing will pose significant risks to nutrition and food security in a country where almost all fish consumption is based on local fisheries production. Since these impacts will be compounded by climate change, precautionary fisheries management will be required to promote ecosystem resilience.

To support its blue economy strategy, the Government of Seychelles is preparing the Third South West Indian Ocean Fisheries Governance and Shared Growth Project (SWIOFish3) with financial support from the World Bank, the GEF and from the issuance of a sovereign blue bond. Following graduation to a high income country, Seychelles has sought to diversify sources of funding. Consequently, the country has turned to Innovative financial instruments, such as blue bonds, which aim is to raise capital from private investors interested in supporting a sustainable development agenda. Scheduled for 2017, Seychelles sovereign blue bond issuance aims to raise US$ 15 million.

Specifically, the SWIOFish3 project supports the Seychelles Marine Spatial Planning Initiative, which will expand sustainable-use marine protected areas to conserve biodiversity across 15% of the EEZ. Improved governance of priority fisheries will also be supported, with key objectives including ending open access, stock rebuilding, addressing overcapitalization, and adoption of rights-based approaches. These interventions in marine and fisheries governance will provide a foundation the development of seafood value chains, which are a cornerstone of the countrys blue economy strategy.

SWIOFish3 has been designed to utilize the proceeds of blue bonds in the form of grants and loans that will be administered by the Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (SeyCCAT), an independent local Trust Fund established under Seychelles legislation, and the Development Bank of Seychelles. They will be used to support private sector investments in scientific and logistical support services, skills development, eco-labelling and postharvest and value adding activities as alternative business opportunities for fishers, as well as public investment in rebuilding fish stocks and addressing overcapitalization. Critically, the disbursement of grants and loans are tied to governance milestones in order to prevent changes in demand or price signals placing greater pressure on fisheries resources.

Ultimately, the Seychelles Blue Bond aims to integrate governance and investment, creating a replicable and scalable model for other countries or regions interested in innovative finance for sustainable development of ocean economies.
Progress reports
By 2020, sustainably manage and protect marine and coastal ecosystems to avoid significant adverse impacts, including by strengthening their resilience, and take action for their restoration in order to achieve healthy and productive oceans
Type of commitment
  • Community or Locally Managed Marine Areas
  • Marine Spatial Planning
  • Ecosystem-based Adaptation
By 2020, effectively regulate harvesting and end overfishing, illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and destructive fishing practices and implement science-based management plans, in order to restore fish stocks in the shortest time feasible, at least to levels that can produce maximum sustainable yield as determined by their biological characteristics
Type of commitment
  • Compliance, monitoring and enforcement
  • Science-based fisheries management plans
  • Ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF)
  • Reduction of fisheries by-catch and product waste/losses
  • Eco-labelling, traceability, certification programmes
  • Market-based instruments (Individually Traded Quotas, Vessel Day Schemes, etc.)
By 2020, prohibit certain forms of fisheries subsidies which contribute to overcapacity and overfishing, eliminate subsidies that contribute to illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing and refrain from introducing new such subsidies, recognizing that appropriate and effective special and differential treatment for developing and least developed countries should be an integral part of the World Trade Organization fisheries subsidies negotiation
Type of commitment
  • Removal or reduction of harmful fisheries subsidies
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable fisheries
  • Economic benefits from sustainable tourism
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
Provide access for small-scale artisanal fishers to marine resources and markets
Type of commitment
  • Legal/policy/institutional measures
  • Access to market-based instruments
  • Transfer of fishing technology
  • Access to coastal fishing grounds
  • Access and capacity building for eco-labelling and traceability systems
  • Community empowerment for fisheries management
Enhance the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources by implementing international law as reflected in UNCLOS, which provides the legal framework for the conservation and sustainable use of oceans and their resources, as recalled in paragraph 158 of The Future We Want
Type of commitment
  • Activities to raise awareness of the comprehensive legal and policy framework for the sustainable development of oceans and seas, in particular UNCLOS, its Implementing Agreements and other relevant ocean-related instruments and promote their effective im
  • Activities to develop the capacity of States towards broader participation in and effective implementation of UNCLOS and its implementing Agreements
  • Strengthening ocean governance, for example through the development of a national ocean policy or regional ocean policy
  • Development of necessary infrastructure and/or enforcement capabilities to comply with international law, as reflected in UNCLOS and as complemented by other ocean-related instruments
integrated management of marine protection, climate change and fisheries management in 15 % of Seychelles EEZ as part of its MSP process
Phased approach from open access to rights based management of Seychelles small scale fisheries
A restructure of the small scale fisheries sector towards value chains and increased employment and local investment opportunities
Increased contribution to GDP from sustainble small scale fisheries and associated activities
Financing (in USD)
10,000,000 USD
Financing (in USD)
15,000,000 USD
Other, please specify
Seychelles sovereign blue bond: USD 15 million over 10 years with WB and GEF garantees
Other, please specify
World Bank loan (5 million) and GEF Grant (5.3 million)
Basic information
Time-frame: 2017 July - 2030 July
Department of Blue Economy, Office of the Vice President (Government) Ministry of Finance, Trade and Economic Planning (Government) Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries (Government) Ministry of Environment, Energy and Climate Change (Government) Seychelles Conservation and Climate Adaptation Trust (Other Relevant Actor) Development Bank of Seychelles (government) World Bank Group (Inter governmental Organization) Global Environment Facility (Inter governmental organization) Private investors (private sector)
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Seychelles small scale fishing community Local investors Seychelles community
Contact information
Dominique Benzaken, Senior Ocean Governance Advisor (CFTC), Office of the Vice President , dbenzaken@statehouse.gov.sc, +248 4326200
Victoria, Mahe island, Republic of Seychelles
Other SDGs
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