COVID-hit Spanish fleet In Seychelles facing economic losses amid work disruption
The challenges facing the Spanish fleet and crew in Seychelles that is suffering from cases of COVID-19 include restricted movements and higher costs, a company official said.
The deputy manager of the Organisation of Associated Producers of Large Tuna Freezers (OPAGAC), Miguel Herrera, told SNA that the company has seen an increase in medical, travel and transport costs, leading to economic losses as a consequence of extended stops due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Following a crew change in June, 97 out of 207 West African mariners joining the Spanish fishing fleet in Seychelles tested positive for COVID-19. Consequently, vessels were used to quarantine the active cases in a demarcated zone just outside Port Victoria.
"Our companies have made the necessary arrangements to ensure that fishing can continue during these difficult times, to avoid food shortage and the dire socio-economic consequences that will issue from a prolonged disruption of activities," said Herrera.
"At present, the crew of three of the boats have been released and they will be able to resume fishing soon. We hope that the other boats will be able to leave as soon as further checking of other crew rends negative results. Three purse seiners will sail on Friday following clearance from local authorities," he added.
Herrera said it is difficult at this stage to evaluate the cost of the impacts though it is clear that COVID-19 is having extensive negative consequences on the economy of the company.
Source: seychellesnewsagency (Click for further of the article)