Here are 5 interesting facts about Seychelles that we learned on our visit.
- Women – Seychellois society is essentially matriarchal. Mothers tend to be dominant in the household and control most of the spending and the interests of the children. Unwed mothers are a societal norm and the law requires the fathers to support their children. Men are important for their earning ability but their domestic role is relatively peripheral.
- Pirates – Seychelles is a key participant in the fight against piracy in the Indian Ocean. According to the former president, James Michel, piracy costs between $7million and $12million a year. The pirates affect the fishing and tourism industry which peaked in 2008 where there was a 46% downfall in the fishing market. This has started a large group of patrol boats, planes and drones on constant watch to ensure the waters of the islands.
- Prisoners – In 2014 Seychelles had a higher incarceration rate in the world of 799 prisoners per 100,000 populations. This was higher than the US by 15%. However, due to the size of the islands all the prisoners fit into 3 prisons.
- Oil – Despite many people looking there are no oil and gas reserves nearby to be found and so Seychelles imports its oil from the Persian Gulf or sometimes Bahrain and Kuwait. Despite the islands being small, they get a good business from Seychelles as it imports 3 times as much oil and gas as it needs to the re-export and distributes to ships and planes that visit the island.
- Endangered Species – Seychelles is among the world’s leading countries in protecting endangered species with 42% of its territory allocated to conservation. When humans first settled on the islands they saw the extinction of many animals and so the people have worked really hard in protecting as much of the wildlife they have now. The Aldabra tortoise was one that nearly became extinct however after much conservation efforts the Aldabra populates many of the islands of Seychelles and is the largest remaining population.