Hello again! It’s me, Johnise Philoe and I will be continuing my blog for this week before it ends. Day 4 is almost over and the week itself is literally flying away. Since the second day of the internship programme I was already feeling at home. The working space at which we were placed in was comfortable along with plenty information, which were very interesting.
Yesterday, when preparing for our flight that took about 1hour and a half, I was feeling quite scared and excited at the same time. This was due to the fact that I’ve never been in a small aircraft before and I was also looking forward to see the surfaces from a bird’s eye view. For the flight we took the Dornier 228-202K (SY-007) aircraft. This aircraft was equipped with a sophisticated radar. This radar can cover a distance from Mahe to Praslin and it can also detect any objects with heat signatures. Before departure the pilot had to make sure that all the systems on board the aircraft were working properly. This was done by checking if the movement of the flaps of the wings and tail were working properly, and most of all they had to make sure that the emergency brakes were working also. After departing from the base, following the Base to Entry line (BE), the view was simply breath taking, as shown below:
During the patrol we got a chance to locate two local fishing vessels and made them our target for a few minutes. The aircraft descended slowly from a high altitude. For the first vessel the pilot descended at about 200 feet from the surface of the sea and for the second vessel the pilot descended at about 150 feet from the surface of the sea so that a clear picture could be taken of them using a professional digital camera. Those pictures and information gathered would be later send to the Imagery Intelligence (IMINT) office where the Mission Report would be made by the operation’s member (i.e. L/CPL Alexander Stravens). The data acquired from the two targets will also be sent to the Seychelles Fishing Authorities (SFA) to know if the tow fishing vessels are registered in their database or not. Those vessels were also located in the Area of Interest (AOI), around the Patrol Line (PL), at which the aircraft was patrolling. Our patrol was longer by minutes than scheduled. We returned to the Seychelles Air Force (SAF) base following the Exit to Base line (BE). Although there were small turbulences the flight went better than expected and the experience itself was beyond excellent. The whole crew (i.e. CMDR A. Menon, LT Hoareau and CPL Hertel), my colleagues (Annia and Conshita) and I also took a picture in front of the Dornier 228-202K (SY-007):
Today was very calm because it’s not every day that the Seychelles Air Force (SAF) will have a rescue mission to respond to or a patrol to attend. Instead my colleagues and I took the time to know some of the officers which were around and some of the other military members. We also had a brief discussion with our supervisor, Captain Rodney Zarine, informing us about the talk that we will have tomorrow with him regarding our understanding in how the Seychelles Air Force (SAF) contributes to the blue economy.
That will be all for now folks!
Until next time,
Hello everyone! My name is Lauren Leon. I’m a 16 year old student at the Anse Boileau Secondary school, currently following the Blue Economy Internship at the Seychelles Ports Authority (SPA). Honestly, words can’t even describe how overjoyed I was when I learned that I had been accepted to be part of something of such great significance.
I started my internship yesterday on the 13th Dec 2017 after my colleagues and I were met with an employee from SPA, Mr David, who not only welcomed us to the shipping company, but also gave us an idea of what the organisation was all about. Mr Vincent Didon, the officer incharge, gave us a tour of the Fishing Port, Zone 14 Area, Inter Island key, and the IPHS Port (a private port owned by a private company called the BOT). He gave us minute details about the day to day running of these areas.
We were also made aware of some of the main exports of the country such as fish/tuna gradually leading us to the container yard whereby Mr Didon elucidated the unique purposes of each container leaving me dumbfounded.
Thankfully, we got the opportunity to go on a little adventure aboard some cargo ships and fishing boats. Day just keeps getting better and better.
See you soon!
Have you ever realized that every single thing and actions you do, have an impact on environment around you? Well, it’s all connected in a web. Fascinating right?
Hey there, it’s Stana. Welcome to my third blog J I know I promised to explain to you how everything is linked together in my last blog, well, here it goes. Happy reading!
When I was told I will be doing my internship at the BHC, my first questions were “What does the BHC have to do with the Blue Economy?? How does their line of work contribute to the Blue Economy??”
I was puzzled by the thought of it, but when I started my internship, I understood that the office is not directly in the Blue Economy department, but they do have an input in Seychelles Blue Economy (I will be learning about it, in details during my second week)
During the discussions I’ve had the past few days with the various people I met, the topic about the connection between the Blue Economy and the different sectors, especially in Seychelles, seems to always come up. This was when I realized that Everything is Linked! No matter what career you have or what your age is, at the end of the day everything you do has an effect on the ecosystem. Not to be cliché, but the environment of Seychelles is ours and our responsibility.
As we know, the Blue Economy links to every job. Even if you’re a secretary and not based in the Blue Economy department, you deliver services for the financial system of Seychelles, and because the Blue Economy is one of the developing pillar of the country, which provide most of the income, if it collapse there will be a huge impact on all the jobs, organization and on the community itself, because of the decrease in money to provide resources for the population
If we take for instance the tourism industry. One of the main reason why tourist comes to Seychelles is mainly for our natural beauty and our ocean. This is where conservation comes in, when tourists takes part in activities like snorkeling, diving, boat trips etc. they get the chance to explore Seychelles’ habitat. This creates a sense of urgency to protect our natural areas so tourist can continue to visit and this benefits the small businesses and no doubt the economy and the people ourselves.
On the other hand if we don’t conserve our resources and we carry on polluting our habitats and ocean, there would be a decline in the amount of tourist visiting our islands and eventually there will be a reduction in the amount of tourists arriving in Seychelles. As tourism Industry and the Blue Economy are the main pillars of our economy, if one degrades then the same thing will happen to the other one. And this will directly affect the country.
As an individual we are all responsible for preserving the Blue Economy. Some of us have the tendency to believe that if we are not directly working in an ocean based or environment based job then it doesn’t have anything to do with us or it is not our problem. But it is 100% our problem! Our bad habits has a negative impact on the environment, for example, we dispose our rubbish in the environment which is then driven in the sea and affects the ecosystem. There are illegal fishing taking place in our waters, which we are not aware of. This may lead to issues like over fishing causing a decline in the amount of catch and decreasing the earnings.
I reckon that if each and every Seychellois no matter the job title/age/race, understands the benefits the Blue Economy provides and begins to practice sustainable activities, our Seychelles will prosper. Without conservation there is no profits and for everything we do today we will pay the consequences in the future. Let’s spread the word and help preserve what Seychelles have, it begins with you!
Until next time!
For the past four days I’ve been attending meetings and encountering different people. Truth be told, I’ve learnt things I never knew, especially about the blue economy. Hello friends, Stana here, welcome to my second blog which is presenting an overview of what I’ve absorbed this week, about the Blue Economy.
The Blue Economy
The Blue Economy is an evolving concept of maximizing the economic potential presented by the ocean while preserving it. It is a way of securing and protecting materials which would in turn benefit us in the future. The blue economy is important to SIDS like Seychelles, as we are an oceanic island. It is a primary source of nutrition, exportation and importation and it can be linked to every single job! The blue economy is unique to Seychelles, because it is one of the developing pillars of the Seychelles’ economy, providing an average of 41% income, 90% of which comes from the tuna factory. To fully realize transition to a blue economy, there are seven thematic areas identified by the Commonwealth, which are vital to creating the conditions for growth and investment:
Challenges the Blue Economy faces
The blue economy faces a large amount of challenges, some of which are caused by our actions and some by natural phenomenon, e.g. global warming, which causes coral bleaching and pollution, which is one of the main troubles caused by humans. For instance, plastics are disposed of into the environment, which are then driven in the sea and interfere with the ecosystem. Animals mistake it for food, some animals get caught in it and eventually die. Marine Invasive Species (e.g. Crown of Thorns) are also a threat to the marine ecosystem, eating away the corals and destroying the reefs, causing a decline in the species of fish due to the loss of habitat. This has a great effect on us, because if there’s no fish in the sea, there’s no food for us, less income for the sector causing an economic downfall.
To be honest, this is only one quarter of the problems the blue economy face; if I continue I would eventually run out of space but I’ll leave it for my future blog.
What are some of the solutions to reduce these problems and face these challenges?
During one of my meeting this week with Sustainability for Seychelles, Mrs. Caroline Callow said “the sea is the lungs of the planet” and there’s no doubt that it should be protected. In order to do so, we need to start doing sustainable practices like stop littering. Sustainable tourism should be considered and practiced more throughout the country in all the businesses and hotels. As less than 1% of the Seychelles EEZ is protected, more environmental management (marine parks/protected areas) are necessary. In order to be able to reduce these problems there should be more collective work and less competition between the people so there can be more effective change.
If there is one thing I learnt this week it is that Everything is Linked. Watch out for my next blog where I will explain this to you my friends. I hope I have given you an idea of what the blue economy is and how you can help to take care of it. Until next time!
Getting accepted for the blue economy internship at Seychelles Energy Commission (SEC) was very exciting. My initial thought after seeing the commission logo lead me to believe that it is everything to do with Renewable Energy(RE).To my surprise, just after my very first day, I saw that it was all of that and so much more!
Before I continue on the amazing details allow me to introduce myself. My name is Kelsy Gill and im currently going on my 2nd year of A level studies.
After months of waiting the day finally came. I was excited but felt shy at the same time. Due to the fact that I was welcomed by such friendly coworkers my fear sort of magically disappeared.
My very first task was to find information about SEC itself and all it entails. I made so many discoveries and this changed my original thought of SEC, there is definitely more to the story!
In the form of a small presentation conducted by myself, I explained to Mr. Imaduwa, the CEO what I had gathered. Despite feeling unprepared and scared initially, after having started everything went quite smoothly. My findings include subjects ranging from history of SEC to programmes initiated to implement use of RE. During the presentation I also had the opportunity to gain clarifications and further information on the relevant topics.
Throughout my entire research my preferred topic was Energy conservation and Energy Efficiency (EE). EE is “using less energy to do same work”.
Many potential fixes are already in motion in effort to promote and implement the use of renewable energy. SEC therefore works in partnership with numerous other stakeholders such as Public Utilities Corporation (PUC) and Ministry of Environment. The Seychelles Energy-Efficiency and Renewable Energy Programme (SEEREP) is one among three presently in place.
We are all aware that initial cost of purchasing Energy Efficient (energy star) appliances such as solar panels are considerably high. However with programmes such as this one it is much easier and affordable to us due to loans provided. On top of that the interest is at a low 5% rate! The benefits for the applicant are endless ranging from saving money by reducing utility bills to increased eco-friendly quality of life. So BE GREEN and get your applications today!
On the other hand Energy Conservation is the first step to reducing your energy consumption. Basically it is all about taking action, by reducing the use of an appliance in an attempt to save energy, on a daily basis.
I’m positive that at some point you’ve heard talk about turning of the lights when you leave a room. Here I am urging you once more today. Furthermore to avoid leaving gadgets on standby (when they’re off, but not unplugged…YES it does, still use energy).We should all start making small changes that mean big differences. Every single effort will without an absolute doubt count! If YOU do it…if I do it...If WE all do it we can definitely “heal the world, make it a better place for you and for me and the entire human race”
Stay tuned for more soon!
Hello everyone! My name is Gaelle Boniface and proudly wearing my SFA badge as I’m currently following the Blue Economy Internship. The awesome feeling you get on your first ever airplane travel I’m sure I was ready to strap on my seatbelt. Welcomed with a warm morning smile I already felt at home. A small building, branching hundreds of offices and friendly staffs.
Mr. Johnny Louys, MCS (Monitoring Control Surveillance) Manager directed me to his office where I spent my first day. The long conversation was interesting and never have I ever heard of MCS. It is a patrolling system around the territory of Seychelles monitoring illegal sea activities. This implementation is also taking place on Praslin and La Digue, setting rules and regulations to avoid illegal fishing in EEZ (Exclusive Economic Zone). It is my accomplishment now to publish more information on MCS as it is not visible to Seychelles citizens. After the long chat I knew there was a lot coming my way and may I say, “there will be a lot more to swallow” as it is a great new start and unforgettable experience. What will tomorrow bring?
Day 1.Monitoring of lobster
Monitoring of lobster is normally done during festive season of December to January. The activity is done to ensure and avoid illegal acts where the agents patrol around Mahe. We went to Bel ombre beach where fishermens came on shore unloading their catch.
Day 2.Coastal Patrol
Inspection of fishing vessels at sea ensuring that has not been any illegal activities. We also inspected fish traps measured its mesh size (size of the traps holes) to ensure it meets the standard and observing presence of fish species inside. We later create a report on the patrol
Day 3. Sea cucumber monitoring
It was the most interesting journey where I learned about the different types of sea cucumbers. We inspected and counted the amounts of raw sea cucumber of different species and later found their weight in kilogrammes. Not only used for cooking, sea cucumber is also used for medicines in demanding countries especially Asia and Europe.
Day 4. Vessel inspections on Purse-Seiners
Big tuna boats were inspected gathering information on the amounts of tuna they caught. Collecting data and temperatures of fish as well. To enter the well, we must wear warm safety clothes and boots. After the inspections I knew my journey was a handful and I rather be a busy bee because difficult roads often leads to beautiful destinations.
Post take-off, the panoramic view of our EEZ through the window seat from above is one memory that only the experience of flying can provide. Fortunately the weather was quite pleasant and luckily none of my colleges experienced motion sickness or was claustrophobia. Everything from 6000 ft. looked so diminutive. Buildings looked like matchboxes.
As the waves crashed along the eastern and north-eastern coast of Mahe, I couldn’t help but notice the various Blue-Economy related activities that were on going, namely in terms of the fisheries and tourism Industry. The coast and the ocean itself was indeed a hectic area, especially in the Ste. Anne marine park and the Fishing Port. Getting a birds-eye-view flying over the island and reefs in the sea makes you realize just how remote our island nation really is.
I got to shadow and observe the surveillance officer as (S/O) Cpl Hertel M. as he worked on a sophisticated radar that is used to detect everything on the water surface over a distance from Mahe to Praslin. Occasionally, large fish or turbulent water can provide false targets sometimes.
We managed to spot 2 vessels upon our arrival in the area of interest on the radar. After the S/O alerted the Pilot in Command Cmdr A. Menon who was also the Mission Commander and the First Officer Lt . J.Houreau, they dropped the aircraft to a lower altitude. That was when the S/O operating the radar got off his seat and started taking pictures of the vessels using surveillance cameras to acquire its vessel name and call sign (certain numerical figures and letters found on a vessel used for identification purposes to tell whether the vessels is foreign or local). It was simply exhilarating. There's something inspiring about flying this close to the ocean in the Dornier. It was definitely a different experience than from commercial flights.
A short flight of almost 1.5 hours, but perhaps the best 1.5 hours of my life. It was surely a trip worth remembering, all thanks to the Seychelles Air Force upholding their duties and responsibilities in securing our EEZ.
Signing Off for now,
Hi y’all. My name is Camilla Labonte, I’m 17 years of age and I’m currently a student at the School of Advance Levels Studies (SALS).
This is DAY THREE of our exciting first week of session 2 in this second edition of the #BEinternship. I’m here as an intern at the Seychelles Air Force (SAF) which is located at Point Larue. My colleagues Annia Marengo, Jonise Philoe and I were simply thrilled over the fact that this morning we got the chance to see our breathtaking EEZ through a bird’s eye view on a journey into one of SAF’s aircraft named the Dornier 228-202K (SY-010).
Note-worthy Fact: The Seychelles’ Exclusive Economic Zone is 1.33 million km2.Gigantic right? It’s approximately the size of France!
So you can only imagine some constraints that the SAF (composed of a total of 57 personnel and 3 aircrafts _one is currently under maintenance) faces when executing its various special tasks such as Fisheries Protection patrol, Anti-Piracy Operation, Anti-Narcotic Operation to safeguard the EEZ’s natural resources and protecting the livelihood of the two main pillars of our economy i.e. tourism and the fisheries industry.
Throughout the entire bus ride from the bus terminal in Town to Point Larue I was overwhelmed by excitement as the day prior they had informed us that today we would get the chance to experienced firsthand what happens during one of their patrols onboard one of the aircrafts.
Our flight’s time of departure had been scheduled to be at 1000hrs so we spent our morning with our Mentor Lt/Cpl A. Stravens in the Image Intelligence Office learning more about what goes on behind the scene in the IMINT Office before a flight. We observed and enquired as he worked on a ‘Flight Authorization’ report on the desktop. This is a document that needs to be signed by the Commanding Officer Lt Col M.Pouponneau to approve a flight before departure. Next was an MDO (Mission Data Overlay) Report. This is another pre-flight report that our mentor was working on that involved quite a number of information about the flight such as the AOI (Area of Interest) ,‘Flight Line’, the Wind Direction, Cloud Cover, Marine and Local Area Forecast that had been obtained from the Met Office via email in the AM and so on and so forth that the flight crew would need.
Time flew by fast and before we knew it we were tightening up the thick green strap of our lifejackets. The way that the burning sun roasted us like nuts in an oven as we made our way towards the aircraft that was already out of the hangar and onto the tarmac outside somewhat indicated of pleasant flight to come.
With our seatbelts fastened , our phones being on “flight mode” and after getting certain information about what to do in case of an emergency from Cpl Hertel M. the Surveillance Officer on board we were good to go. The engines roared for takeoff as the propellers started. The next thing I knew, I was flying amidst the clouds………
I hope that you’ll stick around for Part 2 of OUR EEZ THROUGH A BIRD’S EYE VIEW to know more about today’s flight aboard the Dornier 228-202K (SY-010).
#Day3 #BEinternship #PreFlight #SAF #Part1
The flying day has arrived, so let another round of excitement begin.
On day three a small patrol trip has been organised for the blue economy interns for a duration time of one hour. Before we boarded the plane the operation member for the day L.Cpl. Stravens briefed us about the procedures which takes place before the aircraft leaves the base and the procedures which takes place after the aircraft has landed back to base. We were told that before the departure a flight authorisation report is done and must be signed by the CO to allow the departure of the flight. A weather report along with an MDO (Mission data overlay) is also prepared, and these reports are sent to the pilot so that he may be aware of the weather changes as well as what can be done if any changes takes place. The ops member (operation member) has to also plan the patrol route which is also handed to the pilot and the first officer. This is a lot of work isn’t it? When onboard the aircraft we did a radio check before the departure with the help of the imagery operator onboard. Everything set, and lift off.
The Air Force is here as the eye who sees from above to spot and identify the different activities that takes place in our waters. This is either to identify vessels who is afloat in our waters both legal and illegally or any vessels who is in distress.
During the fly pass the radar picked up two targets in the area of interest were the patrol was being conducted and the radar operator gave the pilot the coordinates so that we can be able to reach the target. When the target is reached, using the camera we picked up the vessel’s name and registration number. Since it was a clear weather we could identified the number of passengers on the vessel. We learnt that the radar can detect anything from the surface of the sea and some are false targets which can be a group of fish. The amazing part of the flight was when we got the chance to fly over the target at an altitude of 150ft. I felt ready to take a swim. After the hour was completed we head back to base and a mission report was prepared. The most exciting thing about this internship was having a flight on the day of my birthday.
So happy birthday to me from the Dornier crew.
Yesterday morning, all that I could think of was “what will this week have to offer?” There were so many mixed emotions just continuously building up inside of me, but the most powerful ones were curiosity and excitement. The curiosity was from the urging sensation to learn and understand more about a place that actually plays a role in protecting our Blue Economy. The excitement was from the joy and happiness I felt when actually realizing that I, amongst other applicants, was chosen to be one of the interns of the 2nd edition of the Blue Economy internship program 2017.
Before I continue, allow me to introduce myself, my name is Johnise Philoe and I’m 16 years old. The opportunity to participate in the 2nd edition of the Blue Economy Internship program was brought to my attention by members from my school who participated in the very first edition.
My first day at the Seychelles Air Force (SAF) was quiet relaxing. The main reason for this was due to the warm welcome from the Commanding Officer (CO), Lieutenant Colonel Pouponneau along with other staff members. During that day my two other colleagues and I were introduced with a brief history of the formation of Seychelles Air Force (SAF). Did you know that they were known as Seychelles Air Wing (SAW) when they were first formed in 1978?
Nowadays the Seychelles Air Force consists of only 3 aircrafts, that is;
My favorite amongst the 3 aircrafts is the Dornier 228-202K (SY-010).
Today, the day started off very calm and quiet. My colleagues and I were finally introduced to our supervisor then we continued the day learning about how vessels at sea are easily located through a system called Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). Late in the afternoon, there was a sudden spike in the atmosphere. Every crew members in base was moving and working much faster. This was due to a distress signal sent out by a local fishing boat. Witnessing everyone around me bursting into action alongside the Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG), through radio messages, was simply amazing and quite exciting.
The Seychelles Air Force (SAF) had to carry out a rescue mission along with Seychelles Coast Guard (SCG).Sadly I had to leave as it was getting late but it was seriously a superb experience.
Quick update: tomorrow my colleagues and I are going for our first ride in the Dornier 228-202K (SY-010) for an hour.
There is so much excitement in only two days and I love every second of it.
To be continued,