Curieuse, Seychelles

Frida Lanshammar's picture
Beach on Praslin Island facing Curieuse
Coco-de-mer nut at the visitor's center on Curieuse
One of the Giant Tortoises on Curieuse Island
Fish for sale on the Côte d'Or beach near Curieuse Island

Seychelles has the smallest population of any African state with around 84,000 thousand inhabitants spread over 115 islands. The country is divided in the “inner” and the “outer” islands, with a majority of the population residing on one of the bigger “inner” islands of Mahe and Praslin. There are as many as 14 Marine Protected Areas in the Seychelles and Curieuse Island is one of the most easily accessible, just off the island of Praslin. Seychelles is a highly developed country, but the majority of the people living in the coastal communities remain heavily dependent on marine and coastal resources for their livelihoods. Most Seychellois eat fish every day, and the DLIST interviews showed that the demonstration site community eat fish 9 days out of 10 (90%).

Curieuse is very rich in terms of natural beauty and species richness. The ecosystems comprises mangroves, seagrass beds, coral reefs, thick coastal forests and the island has a large natural population of coco-de-mer palms, and is home to many hundreds of the famous Aldabra Giant Tortoises. The beaches are popular nesting sites for nesting green and hawksbill turtles.

The marine park on Curieuse was set up in 1979. Later it was extended to cover the entire area between Curieuse and Praslin and conflict between the local fishers and the authority in charge of management (the Seychelles National Parks Authority, SNPA) started. The local communities claim that they have no other choice but to fish in the sheltered area between the two islands during the north-eastern winds and this area is now part of the no-take area. In recent years, the authorities have started a dialogue with the fishers trying to find a solution to the conflict. It is hoped that the DLIST participatory planning process will be able to support this work and find good solutions for the future.