Around 150 children headed out to sea last Saturday 18th November to participate in the junior fishing tournament organized by the Seychelles Sports Fishing Club (SSFC). This annual fishing tournament which entered its 5th edition saw the participation of children aged 4 to 16 years from the different orphanages and centres for the less fortunate. These included Foyer de Nazareth, Foyer de Solitude, Foyer de la Providence and the President’s Village. SSFC junior members and also children from various local schools also participated.
Eleven boats left the Marine Charter Association at 9:30am sharp and headed out with the excited children, parents and volunteers for a fun day at sea to fish in this special tournament in a demarcated area which stretched from Mahé to the west of Praslin. This year as in previous years, Mason’s Travel sponsored their boat “Anahita” and most children fished off this large catamaran, whereas others fished on private boats whose owners had donated their time, fuel and crew to assist SSFC in hosting the event. Boats included Alati, Cheetah, Contender, Free, Instigator, Island Star, Pikinini, Safari, Special-K and Stebber (Almiri Yachts).
The main aim of the tournament for SSFC is to provide less fortunate children from the orphanages the opportunity to enjoy a day of fishing and to mingle with other children. “Not only do we encourage children to take up the sport of fishing, but we also teach them about conservation given that most fish in the tournament were weighed and then released back into the ocean”, Tarak Patel the Chairman of SSFC told our TODAY reporter.
By two o’clock on Saturday afternoon, all boats had returned to Eden Island Marina where the children who were decked out in their special event t-shirts were all treated to a scrumptious lunch at the Boardwalk Bar & Grill. All participants received a signed certificate and it was then time to reward the young ones who had caught the heaviest fish in their respective age groups with specially designed trophies. The results this year were as follows:
Under 5 - Mariel Houareau fishing on Island Star – 3.74 Kgs Bonito
5 to 7 – Aria Bristol fishing on Island Star – 2.34 Kgs Emperor Snapper (Bourgeois)
8 to 10 – Chloe Ally fishing on Island Star – 21.70 Kgs Shark
8 to 10 (Children’s Foundation)– Elynndra Hoareau fishing on Anahita – 0.49 Kgs Madame Beri
11 to 16 – Sinead Fanchette fishing on Instigator – 10.7 Kgs Wahoo
11 to 16 (Children’s Foundation) – Mirrdrah Paul fishing on Contender – 3.36 Kgs Bonito
Best Overall Girl - Chloe Ally fishing on Island Star
Under 5 - Bione Savy fishing on Anahita – 0.915 Kgs Job Gris
5 to 7 – Mischa Mason fishing on Alati – 11.5 Kgs Wahoo
8 to 10 – Joshua Thomas fishing on Anahita – 0.235 Kgs Madame Beri
8 to 10 (Children’s Foundation)– Yheudi Simeon fishing on Anahita – 1.30 Kgs Madame Beri
11 to 16 – Simon Pierre Desnousse fishing on Instigator – 10 Kgs Wahoo
11 to 16 (Children’s Foundation) – Dario Ferley fishing on Anahita – 0.87 Kgs Madame Beri
Best Overall Boy – Mischa Mason fishing on Alati
Asked about the fishing experience, many of the young anglers expressed their happiness at having taken part in the tournament. “I was not expecting to win anything as I just went out with my Godfather and my cousins to have fun”, Chloe Ally the overall girl’s winner told TODAY. “I caught a nice big carangue as well and took it home so that my mother could cook it”, she added with a smile.
This year’s event was sponsored by SSFC, Mason’s Travel, Laser- Pro, Yakub and Faisal Suleman, Today in Seychelles newspaper and SeaLife Magazine, Steve’s Auto & Marine Supplies, Print It, Peter Lalande, SWITCH, Sindu Parek, Marine Charter Association, Printhouse, Boardwalk Bar & Grill as well as Eden Island Marina. SSFC also expressed its thanks to all the volunteers, sponsors as well as the nuns from the orphanages who accompanied the children.