Seychelles

Seychelles

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Seychelles officially the Republic of Seychelles ' onMouseout='HidePop("56641")' href="http://www.absoluteastronomy.com/topics/Seychellois_Creole">Creole
Seychellois Creole
Seychellois Creole, also known as Kreol or Seselwa, is the French-based creole language of the Seychelles. It shares official language status with English and French ....

: Repiblik Sesel), is an island country spanning an archipelago
Archipelago
An archipelago , sometimes called an island group, is a chain or cluster of islands. The word archipelago is derived from the Greek ἄρχι- – arkhi- and πέλαγος – pélagos through the Italian arcipelago...

 of 115 islands in the Indian Ocean
Indian Ocean
The Indian Ocean is the third largest of the world's oceanic divisions, covering approximately 20% of the water on the Earth's surface. It is bounded on the north by the Indian Subcontinent and Arabian Peninsula ; on the west by eastern Africa; on the east by Indochina, the Sunda Islands, and...

, some 1500 kilometres (932 mi) east of mainland Africa
Africa
Africa is the world's second largest and second most populous continent, after Asia. At about 30.2 million km² including adjacent islands, it covers 6% of the Earth's total surface area and 20.4% of the total land area...

, northeast of the island of Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

.

Other nearby island countries and territories include Zanzibar
Zanzibar
Zanzibar ,Persian: زنگبار, from suffix bār: "coast" and Zangi: "bruin" ; is a semi-autonomous part of Tanzania, in East Africa. It comprises the Zanzibar Archipelago in the Indian Ocean, off the coast of the mainland, and consists of numerous small islands and two large ones: Unguja , and Pemba...

 to the west, Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 and Réunion
Réunion
Réunion is a French island with a population of about 800,000 located in the Indian Ocean, east of Madagascar, about south west of Mauritius, the nearest island.Administratively, Réunion is one of the overseas departments of France...

 to the south, Comoros
Comoros
The Comoros , officially the Union of the Comoros is an archipelago island nation in the Indian Ocean, located off the eastern coast of Africa, on the northern end of the Mozambique Channel, between northeastern Mozambique and northwestern Madagascar...

 and Mayotte
Mayotte
Mayotte is an overseas department and region of France consisting of a main island, Grande-Terre , a smaller island, Petite-Terre , and several islets around these two. The archipelago is located in the northern Mozambique Channel in the Indian Ocean, namely between northwestern Madagascar and...

 to the southwest. Seychelles, with an estimated population of 86,525, has the smallest population of any African state.

History



Scholars assume that Austronesian
Austronesian people
The Austronesian-speaking peoples are various populations in Oceania and Southeast Asia that speak languages of the Austronesian family. They include Taiwanese aborigines; the majority ethnic groups of East Timor, Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, Brunei, Madagascar, Micronesia, and Polynesia,...

 seafarers, and later Maldivian
Maldivian
Maldivian may refer to:* Maldivian people , the ethnic group inhabiting the historic region of the Maldive Islands comprising what is now officially the Republic of Maldives and the island of Minicoy in Union territory of Lakshadweep, India....

 and Arab
Arab
Arab people, also known as Arabs , are a panethnicity primarily living in the Arab world, which is located in Western Asia and North Africa. They are identified as such on one or more of genealogical, linguistic, or cultural grounds, with tribal affiliations, and intra-tribal relationships playing...

 traders were the first to visit the uninhabited Seychelles. Remains of Maldivian mariner presence from the 12th century were found in Silhouette Island
Silhouette Island
Silhouette Island lies 20 km northwest of Mahé in the Seychelles. It is the third largest island in the Seychelles. It has an area of 20 km² and has a population of 135, mostly workers on the island. The main settlement is La Passe, where there is a hotel for visitors to Silhouette...

. The earliest recorded sighting by Europeans took place in 1502 by the Portuguese Admiral Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama
Vasco da Gama, 1st Count of Vidigueira was a Portuguese explorer, one of the most successful in the Age of Discovery and the commander of the first ships to sail directly from Europe to India...

, who passed through the Amirantes and named them after himself (islands of the Admiral).

A transit point for trade between Africa and Asia, the islands were occasionally used by pirates until the French began to take control starting in 1756 when a Stone of Possession was laid by Captain Nicholas Morphey. The islands were named after Jean Moreau de Séchelles
Jean Moreau de Séchelles
Jean Moreau de Séchelles was a French official and politician.Made a maître des requêtes 13 October 1719, he was the intendant of Hainaut in Valenciennes from 1727 to 1743...

, Louis XV’s Minister of Finance.

The British contested control over the islands between 1794 and 1810. Jean Baptiste Quéau de Quincy, French administrator of Seychelles during the years of war with the United Kingdom, declined to resist when armed enemy warships arrived. Instead, he successfully negotiated the status of capitulation to Britain
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 which gave the settlers a privileged position of neutrality.

Britain eventually assumed full control upon the surrender of Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 in 1810, formalised in 1814 at the Treaty of Paris
Treaty of Paris (1814)
The Treaty of Paris, signed on 30 May 1814, ended the war between France and the Sixth Coalition, part of the Napoleonic Wars, following an armistice signed on 23 May between Charles, Count of Artois, and the allies...

. Seychelles became a crown colony
Crown colony
A Crown colony, also known in the 17th century as royal colony, was a type of colonial administration of the English and later British Empire....

 separate from Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 in 1903. Elections were held in 1966 and 1970. Independence was granted in 1976 as a republic
Republic
A republic is a form of government in which the people, or some significant portion of them, have supreme control over the government and where offices of state are elected or chosen by elected people. In modern times, a common simplified definition of a republic is a government where the head of...

 within the Commonwealth
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

. In 1977, a coup d'état ousted the first president of the republic, James Mancham
James Mancham
Sir James Richard Marie Mancham KBE was the first President of Seychelles from 1976 to 1977.-Political background:...

, who was replaced by France Albert René. The 1979 constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 declared a socialist
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 one-party state, which lasted until 1991. The first draft of a new constitution
Constitution
A constitution is a set of fundamental principles or established precedents according to which a state or other organization is governed. These rules together make up, i.e. constitute, what the entity is...

 failed to receive the requisite 60 percent of voters in 1992, but an amended version was approved in 1993.

Politics




The Seychelles president
President
A president is a leader of an organization, company, trade union, university, or country.Etymologically, a president is one who presides, who sits in leadership...

, who is both head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

 and head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, is elected by popular vote for a five-year term of office. The previous president, France Albert René, first came to power after his supporters overthrew the first president in 1977 and installed him as president, one year after independence. He was reelected thereafter during each election cycle. He stepped down in 2004 in favour of his vice-president, James Michel
James Michel
Colonel James Alix Michel is a Seychellois politician who has been President of Seychelles since April 16, 2004. He previously served as Vice-President under his predecessor, France-Albert René, from 1996 to 2004...

, who was re-elected in 2006. Michel was reelected in 2011 in an election declared by over 100 international observers, representing Southern African Development Community
Southern African Development Community
The Southern African Development Community is an inter-governmental organization headquartered in Gaborone, Botswana. Its goal is to further socio-economic cooperation and integration as well as political and security cooperation among 15 southern African states...

, the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

 and the Indian Ocean Commission
Indian Ocean Commission
The Indian Ocean Commission , known as the Commission de l'Océan Indien in French, is an intergovernmental organization that joins Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, France , and the Seychelles together to encourage cooperation. It was started in January 1984 under the General Victoria Agreement...

, as being free and fair, although the opposition parties claim that there was vote-buying.

The cabinet
Cabinet (government)
A Cabinet is a body of high ranking government officials, typically representing the executive branch. It can also sometimes be referred to as the Council of Ministers, an Executive Council, or an Executive Committee.- Overview :...

 is presided over and appointed by the president, subject to the approval of a majority of the legislature.

The unicameral Seychellois parliament
Parliament
A parliament is a legislature, especially in those countries whose system of government is based on the Westminster system modeled after that of the United Kingdom. The name is derived from the French , the action of parler : a parlement is a discussion. The term came to mean a meeting at which...

, the National Assembly
National Assembly of Seychelles
The unicameral National Assembly of Seychelles is the country's legislative body.The current National Assembly, formed following elections held on 4, 5, and 6 December 2002, has a total of 34 members. 25 members are elected in single member constituencies using the simple majority system...

 or Assemblée Nationale, consists of 34 members, of whom 25 are elected directly by popular vote, while the remaining nine seats are appointed proportionally according to the percentage of votes received by each party. All members serve five-year terms.

The main rival parties are the ruling socialist Seychelles People's Progressive Front
Seychelles People's Progressive Front
The People's Party is a socialist political party in Seychelles. It publishes a newspaper called The People. It was known as the Seychelles People's Progressive Front until June 2009....

 (SPPF), as of 2009 the SPPF became the People's Party (PP) or Parti Lepep (LP), and the liberal democrat Seychelles National Party
Seychelles National Party
The Seychelles National Party is a liberal political party in Seychelles. Its followers emphasize active multiparty democracy, respect for human rights and liberal economic reforms. It was founded in response to what it called the "totalitarian regime" of former President France-Albert René...

 (SNP). Politics has been an integral part of the lives of the Seychellois since its inception in the early sixties. The range of opinion spans socialist and liberal democratic ideology.

Seychelles is part of the Indian Ocean Commission
Indian Ocean Commission
The Indian Ocean Commission , known as the Commission de l'Océan Indien in French, is an intergovernmental organization that joins Comoros, Madagascar, Mauritius, France , and the Seychelles together to encourage cooperation. It was started in January 1984 under the General Victoria Agreement...

 (IOC), La Francophonie
La Francophonie
Francophonie is an international organization of politics and governments with French as the mother or customary language, where a significant proportion of people are francophones , or where there is a notable affiliation with the French language or culture.Formally known as the Organisation...

 and the Commonwealth of Nations
Commonwealth of Nations
The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

.

Seychelles performed excellently on the 2010 Ibrahim Index of African Governance
Ibrahim Index of African Governance
The Ibrahim Index of African Governance is an attempt to statistically monitor African governance levels throughout all the countries of Africa. Funded and led by the Mo Ibrahim Foundation, it uses a number of different indicators to compile an overall ranking of countries, which is designed to be...

, ranking 2nd out of 48 sub-Saharan African countries, with an overall score of 79 out of 100, second only to Mauritius, which received a score of 83. Particularly good were its scores in Safety and Security, Participation and Human Rights, and Human Development. The Ibrahim Index is a comprehensive measure of African governance, based on a number of different variables which reflect the success with which governments deliver essential political goods to its citizens.

Subdivisions



Seychelles is divided into twenty-five administrative regions that comprise all of the inner islands. Eight of the districts make up the capital of Seychelles and are referred to as Greater Victoria
Victoria, Seychelles
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé island, which is the main island of the archipelago. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government...

. Another 14 districts are considered the rural part of the main island of Mahé
Mahé, Seychelles
Mahé is the largest island of the Seychelles, lying in the north east of the nation. The population of Mahé is 80,000. It contains the capital city of Victoria and accommodates 90% of the country's total population...

 with two districts on Praslin
Praslin
Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles, lying 44 km north east of Mahé. Praslin has a population of around 6,500 people and comprises two administrative districts; Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse . The main settlements are the Baie Ste Anne, Anse Volbert and Grand' Anse.It was...

 and one on La Digue
La Digue
La Digue is the fourth largest inhabited island of the Seychelles, lying east of Praslin and west of Felicite Island. It has a population of about 2,000 people, who mostly live in the west coast villages of La Passe and La Réunion. It has an area of 10 km²...

 which also includes respective satellite islands. The rest of the Outer Islands
Outer Islands (Seychelles)
The Outer Islands or Coralline Seychelles is a collective term for those islands of the Seychelles that are not on the shallow Seychelles Bank which defines the location of the Inner Islands. They are located at distances of 230 to 1150 km from the main Seychelles island of Mahé, and are all...

 are not considered part of any district.
Greater Victoria
  • Bel Air
    Bel Air, Seychelles
    Bel Air is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé....

  • La Rivière Anglaise
    La Riviere Anglaise
    La Rivière Anglaise is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé....

     (English River)
  • Les Mamelles
    Les Mamelles
    Les Mamelles is an administrative district of the Seychelles, located in the south of the Greater Victoria area on Mahé, the main island of the archipelago. The district is located inward from the adjacent coastal district of Roche Caiman...

  • Mont Buxton
    Mont Buxton
    Mont Buxton is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé....

  • Mont Fleuri
    Mont Fleuri
    Mont Fleuri is an administrative district of Seychelles with its main part located on the island of Mahé. It also includes the six islands of the Ste. Anne Marine National Park and two islets further east ....

  • Plaisance
  • Roche Caiman
    Roche Caiman
    Roche Caiman is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé. It is also quite beautiful, densely populated with groves of wine grapes, used in the most coveted wines in all of Australia...

  • Saint Louis
    Saint Louis, Seychelles
    Saint Louis is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé. It is the smallest district of Seychelles with an area slighty more than a square kilometer....



Rural Mahé
  • Anse aux Pins
    Anse aux Pins
    Anse-aux-Pins is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé.-See also:*Mahé Island...

  • Anse Boileau
    Anse Boileau
    Anse Boileau is a quiet district on the south of the island of Mahé, in the Seychelles. Anse Boileau encapsulates the natural wonders of the Seychelles: it sits at the foot of a steep, very green mountain, it is on the shores of the Indian Ocean, and in its midst are streams, mini-forests, creeks,...

  • Anse Etoile
    Anse Etoile
    Anse Etoile is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé....

  • Au Cap
  • Anse Royale
    Anse Royale
    Anse Royale is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé. The Polytechnic School of the Humanities is located in this district....

  • Baie Lazare
    Baie Lazare
    Baie Lazare is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé. It is named after the explorer Lazare Picault....

  • Beau Vallon
    Beau Vallon
    Beau Vallon is a bay on the north western coast of Mahé in the Seychelles. Beau Vallon Beach is a very frequented and maybe the most popular on the island. It is known as a base for diving and snorkelling due to its clear waters and coral reefs. Besides many smaller hotels, it has three major...

  • Bel Ombre
  • Cascade
    Cascade, Seychelles
    Cascade is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Mahé....

  • Glacis
    Glacis, Seychelles
    Glacis is an administrative district of Seychelles located in the north of the island of Mahé....

  • Grand'Anse Mahé
  • Pointe La Rue
    Pointe La Rue
    Pointe La Rue is an administrative district of Seychelles located in the eastern region of the island of Mahé.The district has an area of 3.9 km². Its population rose from 3086 to 3172 ....

  • Port Glaud
    Port Glaud
    Port Glaud is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the northwestern coast of the island of Mahé. It is 25 km² and has a population of 2174 . The main village is Port Glaud. The district contains two marine parks; Baia Ternay & Port Launay. The offshore islands of Thérèse Island...

  • Takamaka


Praslin
  • Baie Sainte Anne
    Baie Sainte Anne
    Baie Sainte Anne is an administrative district of Seychelles located on the island of Praslin....

     (Anse Volbert)
  • Grand'Anse Praslin (Grande Anse)

La Digue and remaining Inner Islands
  • La Digue
    La Digue
    La Digue is the fourth largest inhabited island of the Seychelles, lying east of Praslin and west of Felicite Island. It has a population of about 2,000 people, who mostly live in the west coast villages of La Passe and La Réunion. It has an area of 10 km²...

     (Anse Réunion)


Education


Until the mid-19th century, little formal education was available in Seychelles; both the Catholic and Anglican churches opened mission schools in 1851. The Catholic mission later operated boys' and girls' secondary schools with religious Brothers and nuns from abroad even after the government became responsible for them in 1944. A teacher training college opened in 1959, when the supply of locally trained teachers began to grow, and in short time many new schools were established. Since 1981 a system of free education has been in effect requiring attendance by all children in grades one to nine, beginning at age five. Ninety percent of all children also attend nursery school at age four.

The literacy rate for school-aged children rose to more than 90 percent by the late 1980s. Many older Seychellois had not been taught to read or write in their childhood, but adult education classes helped raise adult literacy from 60 percent to a claimed 85 percent in 1991.

Currently the public school system consists of 23 crèches, 25 primary schools and 13 secondary schools. The schools are located on Mahé
Mahé, Seychelles
Mahé is the largest island of the Seychelles, lying in the north east of the nation. The population of Mahé is 80,000. It contains the capital city of Victoria and accommodates 90% of the country's total population...

, Praslin
Praslin
Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles, lying 44 km north east of Mahé. Praslin has a population of around 6,500 people and comprises two administrative districts; Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse . The main settlements are the Baie Ste Anne, Anse Volbert and Grand' Anse.It was...

, La Digue
La Digue
La Digue is the fourth largest inhabited island of the Seychelles, lying east of Praslin and west of Felicite Island. It has a population of about 2,000 people, who mostly live in the west coast villages of La Passe and La Réunion. It has an area of 10 km²...

 and Silhouette
Silhouette Island
Silhouette Island lies 20 km northwest of Mahé in the Seychelles. It is the third largest island in the Seychelles. It has an area of 20 km² and has a population of 135, mostly workers on the island. The main settlement is La Passe, where there is a hotel for visitors to Silhouette...

. There are also three private schools: École Française, International School and the Independent school. All three private schools are located on Mahé, but the International School has a branch on Praslin
Praslin
Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles, lying 44 km north east of Mahé. Praslin has a population of around 6,500 people and comprises two administrative districts; Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse . The main settlements are the Baie Ste Anne, Anse Volbert and Grand' Anse.It was...

. There are seven post secondary (non-tertiary) schools. They are the Seychelles Polytechnic, School of Advanced Level Studies, National Institute of Education, Seychelles Institute of Technology, Maritime Training Centre, Seychelles Agricultural and Horticultural Training Centre and the National Institute for Health and Social Studies.

The current administration has advanced plans to open a university on the islands in an attempt to slow down the brain drain
Brain drain
Human capital flight, more commonly referred to as "brain drain", is the large-scale emigration of a large group of individuals with technical skills or knowledge. The reasons usually include two aspects which respectively come from countries and individuals...

 that has occurred in the past. Initiated in conjunction with the University of London
University of London
-20th century:Shortly after 6 Burlington Gardens was vacated, the University went through a period of rapid expansion. Bedford College, Royal Holloway and the London School of Economics all joined in 1900, Regent's Park College, which had affiliated in 1841 became an official divinity school of the...

, the Seychelles are launching education programmes which will include teaching and lead to the award of the recognised qualifications from the University of London.

Geography



An island nation, Seychelles is located to the northeast of Madagascar
Madagascar
The Republic of Madagascar is an island country located in the Indian Ocean off the southeastern coast of Africa...

 and about 1600 km (994 mi) east of Kenya
Kenya
Kenya , officially known as the Republic of Kenya, is a country in East Africa that lies on the equator, with the Indian Ocean to its south-east...

. The number of islands in the archipelago is often given as 115 but the Constitution of the Republic of Seychelles lists 155. The islands as per the Constitution are divided into various groups as follows.

There are 42 granitic islands
Granitic Seychelles
The Granitic Seychelles are the islands in the Seychelles which lie in central position on the Seychelles Bank and are composed of granite rock. They make up the majority of the Inner Islands, which in addition include the coral islands along of the rim of the Seychelles Bank, namely Bird Island...

, in descending order of size: Mahé
Mahé, Seychelles
Mahé is the largest island of the Seychelles, lying in the north east of the nation. The population of Mahé is 80,000. It contains the capital city of Victoria and accommodates 90% of the country's total population...

, Praslin
Praslin
Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles, lying 44 km north east of Mahé. Praslin has a population of around 6,500 people and comprises two administrative districts; Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse . The main settlements are the Baie Ste Anne, Anse Volbert and Grand' Anse.It was...

, Silhouette Island
Silhouette Island
Silhouette Island lies 20 km northwest of Mahé in the Seychelles. It is the third largest island in the Seychelles. It has an area of 20 km² and has a population of 135, mostly workers on the island. The main settlement is La Passe, where there is a hotel for visitors to Silhouette...

, La Digue
La Digue
La Digue is the fourth largest inhabited island of the Seychelles, lying east of Praslin and west of Felicite Island. It has a population of about 2,000 people, who mostly live in the west coast villages of La Passe and La Réunion. It has an area of 10 km²...

, Curieuse, Felicite
Felicite Island
Félicité Island is a small heavy forested granitic island 4 km east of La Digue in the Seychelles. It is 2.68 km² and today is a resort that can handle up to 20 guests.The highest point on the island is 213 meters....

, Frégate
Fregate Island
Frégate Island or sometimes Frigate Island is a private island and is the easternmost of the granitic Inner Islands of the Seychelles. It is only and is primarily known as a secluded, private luxury resort and its Anse Victorin beach was voted "The World's Best Beach" by The Times. It was named...

, Ste-Anne, North, Cerf, Marianne, Grand Sœur, Thérèse, Aride, Conception, Petite Sœur, Cousin, Cousine, Long, Récif, Round (Praslin), Anonyme, Mamelles, Moyenne, Ile aux Vaches Marines, L'Islette, Beacon (Ile Sèche), Cachée, Cocos, Round (Mahé), L'Ilot Frégate, Booby, Chauve Souris (Mahé), Chauve Souris (Praslin), Ile La Fouche, Hodoul, L'Ilot, Rat, Souris, St. Pierre (Praslin), Zavé, Harrison Rocks (Grand Rocher).

There are two coral sand cay
Cay
A cay , also spelled caye or key, is a small, low-elevation, sandy island formed on the surface of coral reefs. Cays occur in tropical environments throughout the Pacific, Atlantic and Indian Oceans , where they provide habitable and agricultural land for hundreds of thousands of people...

s north of the granitics: Denis
Denis Island
Denis Island is the second northeasternmost Island in the Seychelles. It is 60 miles north of Mahé and lies at the northern edge of the Seychelles bank, along with the nearby Bird Island, which is the northernmost Seychelles island. The 1.31 km² coral island was named after the French explorer...

 and Bird
Bird Island, Seychelles
Bird Island is the northernmost island in the Seychelles archipelago, 60 miles from Mahe. The 0.70 km² Coral island is known for its birdlife, including sooty terns, fairy terns and common noddies, and for hawksbill and green turtles. It is now a private resort with 24 bungalows...

.

There are two coral island
Coral island
A coral island is the result of an atoll whose lagoon has dried up or been filled in with coral sand and detritus. This state is typically the last in the life cycle of an island, the first being volcanic and the second being an atoll. Most of the world's coral islands are in the Pacific Ocean...

s south of the granitics: Coëtivy
Coëtivy Island
Coëtivy Island is a small coral island in the Seychelles 290 km south of Mahe, at . Along with Île Platte, the nearest neighbor 171 km northwest, it comprises the Southern Coral Group and therefore belongs to the Outer Islands . Its area is 9.31 km² and it has a population of 252. It was named...

 and Platte
Île Platte
Île Platte, or Platte Island is 135 km south of Mahé, the main island of the Seychelles. At , it is clearly south of the Seychelles Bank and belongs to the Outer Islands...

.

There are 29 coral islands in the Amirantes group, west of the granitics: Desroches
Desroches
Île Desroches or Desroches Island is the main island of the Amirante Islands, part of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles. It is located 230 km southwest of Mahé, the Seychelles' main island. It is 6.2 km long and has a land area of 3.24 km²...

, Poivre Atoll (comprising three islands — Poivre, Florentin and South Island), Alphonse, D'Arros, St. Joseph Atoll (comprising 14 islands — St. Joseph Ile aux Fouquets, Ressource, Petit Carcassaye, Grand Carcassaye, Benjamin, Bancs Ferrari, Chiens, Pélicans, Vars, Ile Paul, Banc de Sable, Banc aux Cocos and Ile aux Poules), Marie Louise, Desnoeufs, African Banks (comprising two islands — African Banks and South Island), Rémire, St. François, Boudeuse, Etoile, Bijoutier.

There are 13 coral islands in the Farquhar Group
Farquhar Group
The Farquhar Group belong to the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, lying in the southwest of the island nation, more than 700 kilometres southwest the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island. The total land area of all islands in the group is less than 11 km², but the total area of the atolls measures...

, south-southwest of the Amirantes: Farquhar Atoll
Farquhar Atoll
The Farquhar Atoll is part of the Farquhar Group of islands in the Seychelles that are part of the Outer Islands. From 1965 to the independence of the Seychelles in 1976, they were a part of the British Indian Ocean Territory. The atoll is located at . The total area of the atoll, including the...

 (comprising 10 islands — Bancs de Sable Déposés Ile aux Goëlettes Lapins Ile du Milieu North Manaha South Manaha Middle Manaha North Island and South Island), Providence Atoll (comprising two islands — Providence and Bancs Providence) and St Pierre.

There are 67 raised coral islands
Raised coral atoll
A raised coral atoll is a typical atoll which has been lifted high enough above sea level by tectonic forces to protect it from scouring by storms and enable soils and diverse – often endemic – species of flora and fauna to develop...

 in the Aldabra Group
Aldabra Group
The Aldabra Group are part of the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, lying in the southwest of the island nation, 1000 kilometres from the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island.The total land area of the Aldabra Group is 175.91 km²....

, west of the Farquhar Group
Farquhar Group
The Farquhar Group belong to the Outer Islands of the Seychelles, lying in the southwest of the island nation, more than 700 kilometres southwest the capital, Victoria, on Mahé Island. The total land area of all islands in the group is less than 11 km², but the total area of the atolls measures...

: Aldabra Atoll (comprising 46 islands — Grande Terre, Picard, Polymnie, Malabar, Ile Michel, Ile Esprit, Ile aux Moustiques, Ilot Parc, Ilot Emile, Ilot Yangue, Ilot Magnan, Ile Lanier, Champignon des Os, Euphrate, Grand Mentor, Grand Ilot, Gros Ilot Gionnet, Gros Ilot Sésame, Heron Rock, Hide Island, Ile aux Aigrettes, Ile aux Cèdres, Iles Chalands, Ile Fangame, Ile Héron, Ile Michel, Ile Squacco, Ile Sylvestre, Ile Verte, Ilot Déder, Ilot du Sud, Ilot du Milieu, Ilot du Nord, Ilot Dubois, Ilot Macoa, Ilot Marquoix, Ilots Niçois, Ilot Salade, Middle Row Island, Noddy Rock, North Row Island, Petit Mentor, Petit Mentor Endans, Petits Ilots, Pink Rock and Table Ronde), Assumption, Astove and Cosmoledo Atoll (comprising 19 islands — Menai, Ile du Nord (West North), Ile Nord-Est (East North), Ile du Trou, Goëlettes, Grand Polyte, Petit Polyte, Grand Ile (Wizard), Pagode, Ile du Sud-Ouest (South), Ile aux Moustiques, Ile Baleine, Ile aux Chauve-Souris, Ile aux Macaques, Ile aux Rats, Ile du Nord-Ouest, Ile Observation, Ile Sud-Est and Ilot la Croix).

Climate


The climate is equable although quite humid, as the islands are small. The temperature varies little throughout the year. Temperatures on Mahé vary from 24 to 30 °C (75.2 to 86 °F), and rainfall ranges from 2900 mm (114 in) annually at Victoria
Victoria, Seychelles
Victoria is the capital city of the Seychelles and is situated on the north-eastern side of Mahé island, which is the main island of the archipelago. The city was first established as the seat of the British colonial government...

 to 3600 mm (142 in) on the mountain slopes. Precipitation
Precipitation (meteorology)
In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation In meteorology, precipitation (also known as one of the classes of hydrometeors, which are atmospheric water phenomena is any product of the condensation of atmospheric water vapor that falls under gravity. The main forms of precipitation...

 is somewhat less on the other islands. During the coolest months, July and August, it drops to as low as 24 °C (75 °F). The southeast trade winds blow regularly from May to November, and this is the most pleasant time of the year. The hot months are from December to April, with higher humidity (80%). March and April are the hottest months, but the temperature seldom exceeds 31 °C (88 °F). Most of the islands lie outside the cyclone belt, so high winds are rare.

Economy



During the plantation era, cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

, vanilla
Vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

, and copra
Copra
Copra is the dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut. Coconut oil extracted from it has made copra an important agricultural commodity for many coconut-producing countries. It also yields coconut cake which is mainly used as feed for livestock.-Production:...

 were the chief exports. In the 1960s, about 33% of the working population worked at plantations, and 20% worked in the public or government sector. In 1971, with the opening of Seychelles International Airport
Seychelles International Airport
Seychelles International Airport or Aéroport de La Pointe la Rue as it is known locally is located on the island of Mahé, Seychelles near the capital city of Victoria...

, tourism became a serious industry, basically dividing the economy into plantations and tourism. The tourism sector paid better, and the plantation economy could only expand so far. The plantation sector of the economy declined in prominence, and tourism became the primary industry of Seychelles.

Since independence in 1976, per capita output has expanded to roughly seven times the old near-subsistence level. Growth has been led by the tourist
Tourism
Tourism is travel for recreational, leisure or business purposes. The World Tourism Organization defines tourists as people "traveling to and staying in places outside their usual environment for not more than one consecutive year for leisure, business and other purposes".Tourism has become a...

 sector, which employs about 30% of the labour force, compared to agriculture which today employs about 3% of the labour force. Despite the growth of tourism, farming and fishing continue to employ some people, as do industries that process coconuts and vanilla. The prime agricultural products currently produced in the Seychelles include sweet potatoes, vanilla
Vanilla
Vanilla is a flavoring derived from orchids of the genus Vanilla, primarily from the Mexican species, Flat-leaved Vanilla . The word vanilla derives from the Spanish word "", little pod...

, coconuts
COcOnuts
COcOnuts is the second album released by Jane, comprising Animal Collective member Panda Bear, and Scott Mou. It was originally self-released on CD-R's, but later became the first album released by Psych-o-path Records in 2005. The Psych-o-path version was remastered by Rusty Santos and Edik Kleyner....

, and cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

. These products provide much of the economic support of the locals. Frozen and canned fish, copra, cinnamon, and vanilla are the main export commodities of the islands.

In recent years the government has encouraged foreign investment in order to upgrade hotels and other services. These incentives have given rise to an enormous amount of investment in real estate projects and new resort properties, such as project TIME, distributed by the World Bank, along with its predecessor project MAGIC. Despite its growth, the vulnerability of the tourist sector was illustrated by the sharp drop in 1991–1992 due largely to the Gulf War
Gulf War
The Persian Gulf War , commonly referred to as simply the Gulf War, was a war waged by a U.N.-authorized coalition force from 34 nations led by the United States, against Iraq in response to Iraq's invasion and annexation of Kuwait.The war is also known under other names, such as the First Gulf...

. Since then the government has moved to reduce the dependence on tourism by promoting the development of farming, fishing
Fishing
Fishing is the activity of trying to catch wild fish. Fish are normally caught in the wild. Techniques for catching fish include hand gathering, spearing, netting, angling and trapping....

, small-scale manufacturing
Manufacturing
Manufacturing is the use of machines, tools and labor to produce goods for use or sale. The term may refer to a range of human activity, from handicraft to high tech, but is most commonly applied to industrial production, in which raw materials are transformed into finished goods on a large scale...

 and most recently the offshore financial sector, through the establishment of the Seychelles International Business Authority (SIBA) and the enactment of several pieces of legislation (such as the International Corporate Service Providers Act, the International Business Companies Act, the Securities Act, the Mutual Funds and Hedge Fund Act, amongst others).

Other issues facing the government are the curbing of the budget deficit, including the containment of social welfare costs, and further privatisation
Privatization
Privatization is the incidence or process of transferring ownership of a business, enterprise, agency or public service from the public sector to the private sector or to private non-profit organizations...

 of public enterprises. The government has a pervasive presence in economic activity, with public enterprises active in petroleum product distribution, insurance (has now been privatized), banking (is being privatized very soon), imports of basic products (now being privatized), telecommunications (four private ISP/telecom companies), and a wide range of other businesses.

Demographics



When the British gained control of the islands during the Napoleonic Wars, they allowed the French upper class to retain their land. Both the French and British settlers used enslaved Africans and although the British prohibited slavery in 1835, Africans continued to be enslaved. Thus the Gran'bla ("big whites") of French origin dominated economic and political life. The British administration employed indentured servants from India to the same degree as in Mauritius resulting in a small Indian population. The Indians, like a similar minority of Chinese, were confined to a merchant class. Today the descendents of the Indian, Chinese, and Gran'bla form distinct ethnic communities, although most people are of 'black' African origin, often mixed with 'white' European or Asian heritage.

As the islands of Seychelles had no indigenous population, the current Seychellois are composed of people who have emigrated to the island. The largest ethnic groups are those of African, French, Indian
Non-resident Indian and Person of Indian Origin
A Non-Resident Indian is an Indian citizen who has migrated to another country, a person of Indian origin who is born outside India, or a person of Indian origin who resides permanently outside India. Other terms with the same meaning are overseas Indian and expatriate Indian...

, and Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 descent. French and English are official languages along with Seychellois Creole
Seychellois Creole
Seychellois Creole, also known as Kreol or Seselwa, is the French-based creole language of the Seychelles. It shares official language status with English and French ....

, which is primarily based upon French. Turkish, Spanish, and Arabic are spoken by a small part of population as secondary languages.

According to the 2002 census, most Seychellois are Christians
Christianity
Christianity is a monotheistic religion based on the life and teachings of Jesus as presented in canonical gospels and other New Testament writings...

: 82.3% are Roman Catholic, 6.4% are Anglican
Anglicanism
Anglicanism is a tradition within Christianity comprising churches with historical connections to the Church of England or similar beliefs, worship and church structures. The word Anglican originates in ecclesia anglicana, a medieval Latin phrase dating to at least 1246 that means the English...

, and 4.5% are of other Christian denominations. There are also small minorities that practice Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

ism (2.1%) and Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 (1.1%). Other non-Christian faiths account for 1.5% of the population while a further 2.1% were non-religious or did not specify a religion. The total median age of Seychellois is 32 years.

Culture




Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal
Matriarchy
A matriarchy is a society in which females, especially mothers, have the central roles of political leadership and moral authority. It is also sometimes called a gynocratic or gynocentric society....

. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household, controlling most current expenditures and looking after the interests of the children. Unwed mother
Unwed Mother
Unwed Mother is a novel by Gloria D. Miklowitz. First published in 1977, it was reprinted in 1985. The story deals with a fourteen-year-old girl's pregnancy and her relationship with her baby's father.-Story:...

s are the societal norm, and the law requires fathers to support their children
Child support
In family law and public policy, child support is an ongoing, periodic payment made by a parent for the financial benefit of a child following the end of a marriage or other relationship...

. Men are important for their earning ability, but their domestic role is relatively peripheral. Older women can usually count on financial support from family members living at home or contributions from the earnings of grown children.

The music of Seychelles
Music of Seychelles
The Seychelles, which is an independent island chain in the Indian Ocean, formerly a colony of both Britain and France has a distinct kind of music...

 is diverse. The folk music
Folk music
Folk music is an English term encompassing both traditional folk music and contemporary folk music. The term originated in the 19th century. Traditional folk music has been defined in several ways: as music transmitted by mouth, as music of the lower classes, and as music with unknown composers....

 of the islands incorporates multiple influences in a syncretic fashion, including African rhythms, aesthetic and instrumentation – such as the zez and the bom (known in Brazil as berimbau
Berimbau
The berimbau is a single-string percussion instrument, a musical bow, from Brazil. The berimbau's origins are not entirely clear, but there is not much doubt about its African origin, as no Indigenous Brazilian or European people use musical bows, and very similar instruments are played in the...

), European contredanse, polka
Polka
The polka is a Central European dance and also a genre of dance music familiar throughout Europe and the Americas. It originated in the middle of the 19th century in Bohemia...

 and mazurka
Mazurka
The mazurka is a Polish folk dance in triple meter, usually at a lively tempo, and with accent on the third or second beat.-History:The folk origins of the mazurek are two other Polish musical forms—the slow machine...

, French folk and pop, sega
Sega music
Sega music or Séga is the major music of the Mascarene Islands: Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues as well as of the Seychelles. Sega is similar to the Réunionnais music genre maloya. Another form of dance similar to the sega is the Seychellois moutya. Sega music originated among the slave...

 from Mauritius and Réunion, taarab
Taarab
Taarab is a music genre popular in Tanzania and Kenya. It is influenced by music from the cultures with a historical presence in East Africa, including music from East Asia, Sub-Saharan Africa, North Africa, the Middle East and Europe...

, soukous
Soukous
Soukous is a dance music genre that originated in the two neighbouring countries of Belgian Congo and French Congo during the 1930s and early 1940s, and which has gained popularity throughout Africa...

 and other pan-African genres, and Polynesia
Polynesia
Polynesia is a subregion of Oceania, made up of over 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean. The indigenous people who inhabit the islands of Polynesia are termed Polynesians and they share many similar traits including language, culture and beliefs...

n, Indian and Arcadia
Arcadia
Arcadia is one of the regional units of Greece. It is part of the administrative region of Peloponnese. It is situated in the central and eastern part of the Peloponnese peninsula. It takes its name from the mythological character Arcas. In Greek mythology, it was the home of the god Pan...

n music. A complex form of percussion
Percussion instrument
A percussion instrument is any object which produces a sound when hit with an implement or when it is shaken, rubbed, scraped, or otherwise acted upon in a way that sets the object into vibration...

 music called contombley is popular, as is Moutya, a fusion of native folk rhythms with Kenyan benga
Benga music
Benga is a genre of Kenyan popular music. It evolved between the late 1940s and late 1960s, in Kenya's capital city of Nairobi. In the 1940s, the African Broadcasting Service in Nairobi aired a steady stream of soukous, South African kwela, Zairean finger-style guitar and various kinds of Cuban...

.

Traditionally, despite a greater connection with Great Britain (e.g., in education, which follows the International General Certificate of Education (IGCSE), and on many aspects of the law) many foreign observers have stated that "the culture remains emphatically French" and about 70% of the population have a family name of French origin, compared with only about 20% family names of English origin. The two are often mixed, such that inhabitants receive an English first name and a French family name or vice-versa (e.g., Jean-Pierre Kingsmith).

Flora and fauna


Environmental legislation is very strict,and every tourism project must undergo an environmental review and a lengthy process of consultations with the public and conservationists. The Seychelles is a world leader in sustainable tourism
Sustainable tourism
Sustainable tourism is tourism attempting to make a low impact on the environment and local culture, while helping to generate future employment for local people. The aim of sustainable tourism is to ensure that development brings a positive experience for local people, tourism companies and the...

. The end result of this sustainable development
Sustainable development
Sustainable development is a pattern of resource use, that aims to meet human needs while preserving the environment so that these needs can be met not only in the present, but also for generations to come...

 is an intact and stable natural environment, which attracts financially strong visitors (150,000 in 2007) rather than short-term mass tourism. Since 1993 a law guarantees the citizens the right to a clean environment and at the same time obliges them to protect this environment. The country holds a record for the highest percentage of land under natural conservation—nearly 50% of the total land area of the Seychelles.

Like many fragile island ecosystems, the Seychelles saw the loss of biodiversity
Biodiversity
Biodiversity is the degree of variation of life forms within a given ecosystem, biome, or an entire planet. Biodiversity is a measure of the health of ecosystems. Biodiversity is in part a function of climate. In terrestrial habitats, tropical regions are typically rich whereas polar regions...

 during early human history, including the disappearance of most of the giant tortoise
Giant tortoise
Giant tortoises are characteristic reptiles of certain tropical islands. Often reaching enormous size—they can weigh as much as 300 kg and can grow to be 1.3 m long—they live, or lived , in the Seychelles, the Mascarenes and the Galapagos...

s from the granitic islands, the felling of coastal and mid-level forests, and the extinction
Extinction
In biology and ecology, extinction is the end of an organism or of a group of organisms , normally a species. The moment of extinction is generally considered to be the death of the last individual of the species, although the capacity to breed and recover may have been lost before this point...

 of species such as the chestnut flanked white eye, the Seychelles Parakeet
Seychelles Parakeet
The Seychelles Parakeet occurred in the Indian ocean islands of the Seychelles group. It resembled the Alexandrine Parakeet but was smaller and lacked the pink colour in its collar...

, the Seychelles Black Terrapin
Seychelles Black Terrapin
The Seychelles black terrapin , Seychelles mud turtle, or Seychelles terrapin was a species of turtle in the Pelomedusidae family. It was endemic to Seychelles. It became extinct due to habitat loss.-References:...

 and the saltwater crocodile
Saltwater Crocodile
The saltwater crocodile, also known as estuarine or Indo-Pacific crocodile, is the largest of all living reptiles...

. However, extinctions were far fewer than on islands such as Mauritius
Mauritius
Mauritius , officially the Republic of Mauritius is an island nation off the southeast coast of the African continent in the southwest Indian Ocean, about east of Madagascar...

 or Hawaii
Hawaii
Hawaii is the newest of the 50 U.S. states , and is the only U.S. state made up entirely of islands. It is the northernmost island group in Polynesia, occupying most of an archipelago in the central Pacific Ocean, southwest of the continental United States, southeast of Japan, and northeast of...

, partly due to a shorter period of human occupation (since 1770). The Seychelles today is known for success stories in protecting its flora and fauna. The rare Seychelles Black Parrot
Seychelles Black Parrot
The Seychelles Black Parrot, Praslin Parrot or Kato Nwar is a sombre-coloured, medium-sized parrot endemic to the Seychelles. It is usually treated as a subspecies of the Lesser Vasa Parrot, though it is sometimes considered a full species...

, the national bird of the country, is now protected.

The granitic islands of Seychelles are home to about 75 endemic plant species, with a further 25 or so species in the Aldabra
Aldabra
Aldabra, the world's second largest coral atoll, is in the Aldabra Group of islands in the Indian Ocean that form part of the Seychelles. Uninhabited and extremely isolated, Aldabra is virtually untouched by humans, has distinctive island fauna including the Aldabra Giant Tortoise, and is...

 group. Particularly well-known is the Coco de mer
Coco de mer
The Coco de Mer , the sole member of the genus Lodoicea, is a palm endemic to the islands of Praslin and Curieuse in the Seychelles. It formerly also was found on St Pierre, Chauve-Souris and Ile Ronde in the Seychelles group, but has become extinct on these islands...

, a species of palm that grows only on the islands of Praslin
Praslin
Praslin is the second largest island of the Seychelles, lying 44 km north east of Mahé. Praslin has a population of around 6,500 people and comprises two administrative districts; Baie Sainte Anne and Grand' Anse . The main settlements are the Baie Ste Anne, Anse Volbert and Grand' Anse.It was...

 and neighbouring Curieuse. Sometimes nicknamed the "love nut" because of the shape of its fruit which, with the husk removed, presents a "double" coconut resembling a woman's buttocks, the coco-de-mer produces the world's heaviest seed pods. The jellyfish tree
Jellyfish tree
The jellyfish tree is a critically endangered and unusual tree endemic to the island of Mahé, of the Seychelles. It is the sole member of the genus Medusagyne...

 is to be found in only a few locations today. This strange and ancient plant has resisted all efforts to propagate it. Other unique plant species include the Wright's Gardenia Rothmannia annae
Rothmannia annae
Rothmannia annae is a species of plant in the Rubiaceae family. It is endemic to Seychelles. It is threatened by habitat loss.-Source:* Nature Protection Trust of Seychelles 1998. . Downloaded on 23 August 2007....

found only on Aride
Aride Island
Aride Island is the northernmost granitic island in the Seychelles and is 10 km north of Praslin. It is 68 hectares in area and is a nature reserve. Aride is leased and managed by the Island Conservation Society of Seychelles. The only human inhabitants are the reserve's staff; currently four...

 Island Special Reserve.


The Aldabra Giant Tortoise
Aldabra Giant Tortoise
The Aldabra giant tortoise , from the islands of the Aldabra Atoll in the Seychelles, is one of the largest tortoises in the world....

 now populates many of the islands of the Seychelles. The Aldabra population is the largest in the world. These unique reptiles can be found even in captive herds. It has been reported that the granitic islands of Seychelles supported distinct species of Seychelles giant tortoise
Seychelles giant tortoise
The Seychelles giant tortoise has been thought to be extinct since the mid-19th century due to overexploitation on the granitic Seychelles islands. Similar giant tortoise species on other Indian Ocean islands such as Mauritius, Réunion and Rodrigues Island are also extinct...

s; the status of the different populations is currently unclear.

There are several unique varieties of Orchids on the Islands.

Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies
Bird colony
A bird colony is a large congregation of individuals of one or more species of bird that nest or roost in close proximity at a particular location. Many kinds of birds are known to congregate in groups of varying size; a congregation of nesting birds is called a breeding colony...

 in the world.

The marine life around the islands, especially the more remote coral islands, can be spectacular. More than 1,000 species of fish have been recorded. Since the use of speargun
Speargun
A speargun is an underwater fishing implement designed to fire a spear at fish.The basic components of a speargun are:A spear, a stock/barrel, and a handle/grip containing a trigger mechanism...

s and dynamite
Dynamite
Dynamite is an explosive material based on nitroglycerin, initially using diatomaceous earth , or another absorbent substance such as powdered shells, clay, sawdust, or wood pulp. Dynamites using organic materials such as sawdust are less stable and such use has been generally discontinued...

 for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers
Snorkeling
Snorkeling is the practice of swimming on or through a body of water while equipped with a diving mask, a shaped tube called a snorkel, and usually swimfins. In cooler waters, a wetsuit may also be worn...

 and divers
Scuba diving
Scuba diving is a form of underwater diving in which a diver uses a scuba set to breathe underwater....

. Coral bleaching
Coral bleaching
Coral bleaching is the loss of intracellular endosymbionts through either expulsion or loss of algal pigmentation.The corals that form the structure of the great reef ecosystems of tropical seas depend upon a symbiotic relationship with unicellular flagellate protozoa, called zooxanthellae, that...

 in 1998 has unfortunately damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (e.g. Silhouette Island
Silhouette Island
Silhouette Island lies 20 km northwest of Mahé in the Seychelles. It is the third largest island in the Seychelles. It has an area of 20 km² and has a population of 135, mostly workers on the island. The main settlement is La Passe, where there is a hotel for visitors to Silhouette...

).

Although multinational oil companies have explored the waters around the islands, no oil or gas has been found. In 2005, a deal was signed with US firm Petroquest, giving it exploration rights to about 30,000 km2 around Constant, Topaz, Farquhar and Coëtivy islands until 2014. Seychelles imports oil from the Gulf in the form of refined petroleum derivatives at the rate of about 5700 oilbbl/d. In recent years oil has been imported from Kuwait and also from Bahrain. Seychelles imports three times more oil than is needed for internal uses because it re-exports the surplus oil in the form of bunker for ships and aircraft calling at Mahé. There are no refining capacities on the islands. Oil and gas imports, distribution and re-export are the responsibility of Seychelles Petroleum (Sepec), while oil exploration is the responsibility of the Seychelles National Oil Company (SNOC).

The main natural resources of the Seychelles are fish, copra
Copra
Copra is the dried meat, or kernel, of the coconut. Coconut oil extracted from it has made copra an important agricultural commodity for many coconut-producing countries. It also yields coconut cake which is mainly used as feed for livestock.-Production:...

, cinnamon
Cinnamon
Cinnamon is a spice obtained from the inner bark of several trees from the genus Cinnamomum that is used in both sweet and savoury foods...

, coconut
Coconut
The coconut palm, Cocos nucifera, is a member of the family Arecaceae . It is the only accepted species in the genus Cocos. The term coconut can refer to the entire coconut palm, the seed, or the fruit, which is not a botanical nut. The spelling cocoanut is an old-fashioned form of the word...

s, salt and iron.

Media and telecommunications



Two Service Providers
  1. Airtel
  2. Cable & Wireless

See also


  • Commonwealth of Nations
    Commonwealth of Nations
    The Commonwealth of Nations, normally referred to as the Commonwealth and formerly known as the British Commonwealth, is an intergovernmental organisation of fifty-four independent member states...

  • Hinduism in Seychelles
    Hinduism in Seychelles
    -Hindus in Seychelles:According to the 2001 census there were 1,600 Hindus in Seychelles. Most of them were ethnic east Indian.In 1901 there were 332 Hindu families out of a population of 19,237 and roughly 3,500 Tamil speaking people....

  • LGBT rights in Seychelles
    LGBT rights in Seychelles
    Male homosexuality is currently illegal in the Seychelles, while female homosexuality is legally permissible and decriminalisation is proposed.- Recognition of same-sex relationships :...

  • List of Seychellois people
  • Mike Hoare
    Mike Hoare
    Thomas Michael Hoare is an Irish mercenary leader known for military activities in Africa and his failed attempt to conduct a coup d'état in the Seychelles.-Early life and military career:...

  • Occupational Therapy in the Seychelles
    Occupational therapy in the Seychelles
    -History:Occupational Therapy is a relatively new profession in the Seychelles. The first occupational therapist on record is an American Peace Corps volunteer, Mrs Kemp, who worked at the Les Cannelles Psychiatric Hospital in the early 1970s. We know this from the records of the hospital as well...



Further reading

  • "The Edge of Eden" Helen Benedict
  • Aldabra Adrian Skerrett (Editor)
  • Birds of the Seychelles Adrian Skerrett, Ian Bullock, Tony Disley
  • The History of Slavery in Mauritius and the Seychelles, 1810–1875 Moses D. E., Nwulia
  • Journey through Seychelles Mohamed Amin, Duncan Willets, Adrian Skerrett, Judith Skerrett
  • Political Castaways Christopher Lee
  • The Seychelles Michael Friedel
  • Seychelles Vincenzo Paolillo
  • Seychelles: Garden of Eden in the Indian Ocean Sarah Carpin
  • Paradise Raped James R. Mancham
  • Seychelles: The New Era France Albert René
  • Seychelles, What Next? Alain St.Ange
  • Seychelles Since 1770: History of a Slave and Post-Slavery Society Deryck Scarr
  • Seychelles, In Search of Democracy Alain St.Ange & Bernard Georges
  • 'Rivals in Eden' and 'Hard Times in Paradise' Bill McAteer
  • Seychelles, The Cry of A People Alain St.Ange
  • Reveil Seychellois (Life in Seychelles 1770–1903) Denise Johnstone

External links



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