Protecting against Marine Invasion
Protecting against Marine Invasion
The Coral Reefs of Seychelles can be considered an ecosystem under threat from climate change, reclamation, fisheries, tourism and other activities. Prior to 1998 the Coral Reefs of Seychelles were considered amongst some of the best in the world. In 1998 there was a mass bleaching event whereby in some cases over 90% of corals died. The impact of this event is still visible now since some reefs have been unable to recover. In 2016 there was another bleaching event, though on a smaller scale. Reefs have high socio economic importance contributing significantly to the Fishing and Tourism Industries (Dive industry). Furthermore reefs contribute to coastline protection another major problem in Seychelles. The Reefs of Seychelles are now under a new threat; Marine species outbreaks. The impacts of these outbreaks are very similar to Alien invasive species invasion. They have the potential to completely decimate the little remaining living corals left.
This proposal seeks to find a long term solution to Marine species Invasion by addressing two species (Crown of thorns Acanthaster planci and black sea urchins Diadema sp) in a pilot stage. The impact of the crown of Thorns Starfish is quite well documented there have been several projects to control its outbreak. This started 1997, with other outbreaks in 2001,2014, 2016. Control programmes were coordinated by various organisations, MCSS, SNPA and Ministry of Environment for example. The 2016 outbreak continues at present date though SNPA and partners recently conducted a control programme.
Recently another local specie (black Sea Urchin) has been seen at outbreak level. There has been no response to the urchin problem urchin as opposed to Crown of thorns. SFA is apparently looking at the commercialisation potential of the specie otherwise no other action has been initiated. Whilst crown of thorns problem is concentrated on the northern coast of Mahe, Sea urchins are more widespread extending even to the Curieuse Marine Park.
The Crown of Thorns feed directly on Corals whilst the urchins feed on algae but their grazing action kills coral larvae trying to settle down and grow.
No in dept studies have been conducted as to properly understand why there are these outbreaks though theories such as high level nutrients or lack of predators have been advanced.
In terms of policy, the Ministry of Environment shows general concerns for the problem but there is a lack of funding and also coordination. Nobody is taking responsibility for a coordinated approach to the problem. The Dive centres participate where they can during their normal operations.
Information on the problem is mostly between partners already involved with the problem and is not readily available to the mass population. The outbreaks are unsightly, can have health impact (poisonous) may impact on fisheries and certainly impact on the Dive industry.
Furthermore if there is not a well coordinated approach to the problem, and the impact of Climate change continues, several more reefs will be destroyed with catastrophic impact.
In addition no organisation is looking at other possible Marine Invasive species. There were recent talks on the issue of Ballast water, but there are no new surveys to establish what will likely be the next problem.
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Project Snapshot

Green team Seychelles
Area Of Work:
Grant Amount:
US$ 0.00
Co-Financing Cash:
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
Project Terminated Before Completion


Seychelles National Parks Authority, Dive Centres

Grantee Contact

Mr. Elizabeth Fideria
Phone: +248 2511103


C/0 Big Blue Divers Mare Anglaise, Mahe
Victoria , PO Box 844

SGP Country office contact

Ms Lyndy Bastienne
248 4225914


UNDP TECHNICAL OFFICE, First Floor Le Chantier Mall, Victoria
Victoria, Mahe