In Seychelles, an archipelago nation in the southwest Indian Ocean, fishing is the main source of food and income for many small communities like La Retraite on the island of Mahé.
Every afternoon, local fishers return with their catches to sell them fresh at their new marketplace.
This clean and well-equipped facility was built thanks to agreements the European Union has been making with countries like Seychelles – which allow EU vessels to fish in their territorial waters, in return for support given to the fishing sector.
Dimitri Maiden, the chair of the fishermen’s association says the new facilities have improved hygiene standards.
“We didn’t have any fish market,” he says. “So nothing was covered. There were no water facilities. Before this, we were selling fish on wooden pallets over the gutter.
“Most of the fish is going to small hotels. So we don’t want to go down the line where hygiene is a problem and people are getting sick.”
But it’s not all good news: over the years, catches have been declining. The association urges fishermen to think ahead and work within sustainable limits.
But a much bigger problem is illegal fleets that come from afar – without authorization – to plunder these waters.
Illegal fishing throws marine ecosystems off balance, putting the health of the Western Indian Ocean at risk. But it also endangers regional economies, wiping out jobs and undermining food security in coastal states.
20% of the world’s tuna catches come from this region and the resource attracts poachers.