Academy by the Sea

  • Marine Mammals
  • Other species
  • Rays & Skates
  • Sharks
  • Turtles
Years funded
  • 2012, 2013
  • Archived
Project type
  • Education

Seychellois teenagers are surrounded by an incredible marine ecosystem, but they do not have the opportunity to learn very much about it. Academy by the Sea exposes them to the fascinating world that lies beyond the beach.

Academy by the Sea

David Rowat

Project leader
About the project leader

Hello, I am the chairman of the Marine Conservation Society Seychelles and a member of the IUCN Shark Specialist Group. I moved to Seychelles with my wife Glynis in 1985 and through our diving activities we started to see ways in which we could help conserve local marine life. We began implementing several marine conservation and awareness projects, and one of the first of these was teaching children from the National Youth Service camp how to snorkel in the marine national park where the camp was situated. For many of the youngsters this was the first time they had ever...

Related Blogs
By David Rowat, 20th September 2013
Seychelles Sea Turtle Festival
Written by Abi March Last month saw the first Seychelles Sea Turtle Festival, an event organised by Global Vision International and Marine Conservation Society Seychelles with the cooperation of the Ministry of Environment and other partners. The aimed of the festival was to celebrate the…
By David Rowat, 9th September 2013
Academy by the Sea enters its second year!
Written by Abi March The second year of the Academy by the Sea Level 1 programme has come to a close and a further 24 secondary school students are now equipped with lots of knowledge about Seychelles marine life. The Academy, based at the Dive…
By David Rowat, 24th July 2013
Celebrating our year of adventures!
Written by Abi March It’s been a busy year at the Academy by the Sea; 35 students completed a Level 1 programme on Mahe last August and 16 of these students took part in the Level 2 programme on D’Arros in April. With so much…
By David Rowat, 19th May 2013
Our D’Arros experience: Mantastic Mantas!
Written by Abi March When all the students first introduced themselves to the scientists and staff at D’Arros, they all stated their favourite marine animal. Scientist Guy Stevens was disappointed that no one said manta rays. Guy is the founder and CEO of Manta Trust…
By David Rowat, 18th May 2013
Our D’Arros experience: Turtles and Trash!
Written by Abi March A lot of days on D’Arros proved great for turtle sightings, but the second Tuesday was turtletastically awesome! A trip to St Joseph Atoll gave us a count of 163 green turtles and one hawksbill (these are the two species of…
By David Rowat, 17th May 2013
Our D’Arros experience: All about birds!
Written by Abi March It’s not just animals IN the sea that the students at the Academy by the Sea learn about. Many other animals rely on the ocean and coastal habitats for their existence. Birds are one such example and with five land species,…
By David Rowat, 16th May 2013
Our D’Arros experience: The second group arrives!
Written by Abi March The second Saturday of the trip came with mixed emotions, it was time to say goodbye to the first group but at the same time welcome the second. We all went down to the ‘airport’ (a shelter next to the grass…
By David Rowat, 15th May 2013
Our D’Arros experience: It’s all amazing!
Written by Abi March With so many exciting things going on at D’Arros it was hard for students to choose their favourite moment. The shark encounters definitely ranked amongst the top for all the students (and staff!). Below two students from the first group describe…
By David Rowat, 14th May 2013
Our D’Arros experience: Sharks, sharks, sharks
Written by Abi March Before the Academy by the Sea programme started last August, most of the students had never seen a shark –apart from on TV or dead in the fish market. That all changed on D’Arros… “Hello everyone, my name is Anthea Laurence,…
By David Rowat, 9th May 2013
Our D’Arros experience: Birthday in paradise
Written by Abi March Everyday has been a special day for each of the students while we’ve been on D’Arros, but for one lucky student the second day was even more special as she celebrated her birthday in paradise… Hello to you all, my name…
By David Rowat, 8th May 2013
Our D’Arros experience: leaving for the unknown!
Written by Abi March We’ve done so much while on D’Arros, it’s hard to believe it was only 11 days ago when the first eight students were picked up in the minibus on Mahé for the start of their adventure. There was mixed feelings as…
By David Rowat, 5th May 2013
The Mystery Destination Revealed
MCSS Education Officer Abi March continues the reporting on the first Academy By the Sea field camp: Only when the plane had landed, the pilot revealed the secret… we had arrived on D’Arros! D’Arros is a small island in the Amirantes, one of the coral…
By David Rowat, 3rd May 2013
The Mystery Trip Begins!
Well the first of the Academy By The Sea Level 2 field camps has begun! On Saturday 27th April, eight students from secondary schools across Mahé and Praslin were collected from various locations and taken to their departure point for an unknown destination! The students’…
By David Rowat, 4th April 2013
Secrets by the sea
The Academy by the Sea programme continues this school holiday with students from the first programme joining us again for Level 2. The Level 2 programme will build on students’ knowledge from Level 1 as well as introducing new activities and animals, all aimed at…
By David Rowat, 8th December 2012
The Academy helps schools win Eco-School award
On Thursday 6th December, the Environmental Education Unit within the Ministry of Education held the annual award ceremony for the Eco-School achievements. MCSS education officer Abi March was delighted to be invited to the National Theatre to watch the ceremony. The Eco-Schools programme promotes sustainable…
By David Rowat, 26th November 2012
Academy By The Sea meets SUBIOS
From 23rd-25th November, Seychelles celebrated the annual Festival of the Sea called SUBIOS. The festival is a celebration of the ocean and is a great opportunity for the young people of the Seychelles to get involved in giving their thoughts about our oceans through a…
By David Rowat, 5th September 2012
Perspectives of a young fisher….
My name is Randy, I’m 15 years old and I go to Beau Vallon Secondary School in Seychelles. Squid were found in abundance in Beau Vallon Bay in Seychelles for many years, coming in all sizes. They were usually found under boats anchored at sea,…
By David Rowat, 4th September 2012
Oneal’s first week at the Academy
Hi, my name is Oneal, I’m 16 years old and I attend English River Secondary School in Seychelles. This school holiday I’m a student at the Academy by the Sea. I’m following a two week marine education training programme about how we can conserve and…
By David Rowat, 1st September 2012
Academy First Phase A Great Success
For 10 days between 13th to 24th August, 18 students aged 12-14 attended the first MCSS Academy by the Sea Marine Education Programme; and what a fun filled, action packed 10 days it was! As Project Tutor, I led the students in discovering the marine…
By David Rowat, 31st August 2012
Academy By The Sea Gets Under Way
The Academy by the Sea programme in Seychelles is now well underway; this ‘Summer Camp’ programme is designed to encourage students to find out more about the marine world and become involved in local marine conservation projects. The costs of the Academies are covered by…
Project details

Seychelles integrated marine education programme

Key objective

The project will develop a marine science and awareness component for the education system in Seychelles. This will start at the secondary school level and carry on through to the polytechnic level with the development of a vocational diploma course for marine rangers and an optional tertiary education module in marine science at the university level.

Why is this important

Seychelles is an archipelago of 115 islands with a land mass of just 455 square kilometres spread across some 1.4 million square kilometres of the Indian Ocean. The goods and services that the marine environment provides have largely supported the development of the two main pillars of the Seychelles economy: tourism, based mainly on the coast and islands, and fisheries.


As the Seychelles population has grown, so has the education system, but the University of Seychelles only opened in 2009, thus there is a shortage of personnel educated to the tertiary level to guide the country’s sustainable development – not least within the marine area. That said, there is a strong awareness of environmental issues in the country fostered by an active NGO sector, which has generated considerable awareness within primary and secondary schools.
This project seeks to continue and support these activities and to build on them by providing formal education components that can lead to a career in marine science and its associated fields. The project will build on the awareness-building activities of several programmes in Seychelles, including on-going SOSF programmes, through the development of formal education modules incorporated in the curricula to better prepare candidates for entry into the Environmental and Coastal Sciences Course at the University of Seychelles. The project also aims to provide support for mature and working students to enable those currently working in the field to participate in vocational education on a day or block-release basis through scholarships or bursaries.

Aims & objectives

The overall aim of the project is to raise awareness and capacity in marine science in the Seychelles. This will enable sustainable development in the context of an expanding Seychelles community that’s living in a world with global warming. This will be accomplished through the following specific objectives:

  • Increase levels of awareness about the marine environment and possible related career paths at the secondary school level;
  • Increase formal knowledge and skills in marine environmental science at secondary school and polytechnic level;
  • Provide facilities for people already working in the field of marine science to attain a formal diploma; and
  • Provide both general and specific marine science modules within the Tropical, Coastal and Marine Science course at the University of Seychelles.