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I completed a Master’s degree in Oceanography in 2015 in Rimouski, Québec, Canada. Now as a project leader for Marine Conservation Society Seychelles, I work on two main projects: 1) the Cerf Island Conservation Program where the goal is to improve the biodiversity around Cerf Island through a participatory partnership with the private sector; a science-based project aimed at restoring commercially important spiny lobster habitat, to help develop a sustainable fisheries
Spiny lobsters (Panulirus longipes, P. penicillatus and P. versicolor) are an important resource in Seychelles, where they inhabit coastal carbonate and granite reefs that have been impacted by multiple coral bleaching events over the past two decades. Little is known about their biology and ecology in this region. Interspecific competition for foo...
The benthic settlement success of American lobster (Homarus americanus) postlarvae is a key factor in population dynamics, with the temperature being a key factor. Given the spatial distribution of the species, its pelagic larvae probably encounter various thermal zones during development. Little information is available on the ability of lobster l...
Project rationale & goals: The Seychelles are located within one of the major marine biodiversity hotspots of the world. Key marine ecosystems in the archipelago include coral reefs, mangroves, seagrass beds and a vast pelagic system that support the local subsistence and commercial fisheries. However, concerns recently emerged regarding the resilience of the Seychelles’ marine ecosystems due to increasing human pressures. Improving our understanding of marine ecosystems that support the Seychelles fisheries is critical to ensure effective management and to anticipate adverse effects of rapid economic development. In addition to direct impacts on species richness and habitat, human activities are sources of a myriad of chemicals including metals and persistent organic pollutants (POPs). Trace metal and POP toxicity in marine organisms, in association with their long residence time within food chains and the potential risk of human exposure, makes it necessary to monitor the levels of these contaminants in organisms. In this context, SEYFISH, a multidisciplinary and collaborative research project, aims to address two main questions: What do capture fisheries provide in term of valuable nutrients for the Seychelles population? How important are they for ensuring food and nutrition security in Seychelles? How and to which extend may global change affect the health benefits and risks associated with wild fish consumption? How are the Seychelles marine ecosystems structured? How are they able to cope with increasing global changes? What could be recommended in terms of ecosystems’ and fisheries’ monitoring and conservation measures? Activities: • Collection of wide range of commercial species from the Inner and Outer Island groups in collaboration with local fishermen and respective associations and non-governmental organizations • Analysis of nutritional value and contaminant content in the sampled fish: Targeted nutrients include the macro- (total fat, proteins, carbohydrates, and derived caloric content) and micro-nutrients (essential minerals, amino and fatty acids); targeted contaminants include the regulated persistent bioaccumulative and toxic substances listed in the Stockholm Convention and emerging ones. • Development of a web-portal to make available fisheries nutritional information • Characterization of species groups with similar contaminant/nutrient inputs, and identification of trophic interactions and pathways of energy flow between those groups using statistical approaches • Modelling of marine ecosystems to help understand their structure, function and dynamics, and how they may change under climate and fishing pressure • Quantitative benefit-risk assessment of wild fisheries to determine the frequency, amount and choice of fish consumed that would maximize the net health benefits for Seychelles population.