Photo J.Rombi : Jean Marc Berquer
Represented locally by Jean Marc Berquer, the SPSM (Société de Pêche de Sainte Marie, Copefrito group), has become in 20 years of presence in the small island of the east coast a major provider of sustainable jobs. We transferred here the technique of lamparo fishing at night as the Réunionese do with cavalry fishing. This allows several hundred canoeists to practice alternative fishing which generates around 5 tonnes of small pelagics each day. Half is consumed locally and we buy the overproduction which is conditioned before being exported. Questioned on the abusive exploitation of the resource, Jean Marc Berquer remains convinced that the fishing techniques developed by SPSM make it possible to control it: “not only do the fishermen limit their actions on the lagoon but also, we practice the immersion of shelters that allow the concentration of fish to develop. We also educate them about pot fishing for octopus, which avoids chasing them in the lagoon and destroying the reefs. We are on sustainability and do not seek to take one-off actions and then set off again… ”By saying this, the operations manager speaks without quoting them about the Asian collectors of sea cucumbers and sharks fins who are at the origin of a real massacre of ecosystems, under the protection of local corrupt “notables”. Another sign of hope for the preservation of the fishery resource: the bad weather that is raging around the island. With barely 140 days a year of good weather, sea trips and shore fishing are naturally limited. In addition, species like lobster nest up to 50 meters deep, octopuses can live down to – 300 meters, so many depths inaccessible to even well-equipped fishermen. The SPSM, partner of CSR actions on the island, has also launched an awareness campaign on the minimum size of catches to be observed.