British media spin causes Moyenne Island Coral reef project to create local concerns


Anyone relying on sensational UK media in or out of Covid-19 for a balanced story on a family of four moving to Seychelles to save corals needs his or head examined.

The subject is already the stuff of dreams, and you can count on the British tabloids to gloss over all the unsexy facts of marine biology and instead go for the story of two teenage daughters trying to save the reefs of Seychelles.

Such reporting can ruin a perfectly noble project before it even gets off the ocean floor, with cries of “why should an Englishman come to touch our Seychellois corals”?!

The story in UK media of a former recruitment consultant and policeman, Barry Seath, wanting to come to Seychelles with his wife and two daughters to set up a coral-growing infrastructure on Moyenne Island to help restore badly degraded coral reefs around the usland took a life of its own this week, with some local conservationists throwing up their hands in despair saying “hey, this is OUR backyard”.

Turns out that while Seath was enthusiastically putting out his story to the press thinking that it would help raise money for the project, his very effort might be his undoing.

Enter David Rowat, chairman of the Seychelles environmental NGO Marine Conservation Society Seychelles (MCSS) to clear Seath’s name.

Turns out that Rowat’s NGO was approached by the head of the Moyenne Island Foumdation to look into the possibility of creating an on-land coral farm for the rehabilitation project, and  MCSS needed to raise funds for the project.

As MCSS put the feelers out Seath reached put and advised on the setting up a body in the UK to raise the required funds and in the process expressed interest in participating in the project as well.

As Rowat puts it, the project is not sealed and delivered yet but rather the UK press got hold got if and put some sensational spin on it. Seath in fact in a way came to the rescue of a local NGO rather than is planning to come and play with our corals, and as Rowat puts it, once the project moves forward, everything is expected to be done along the right protocols and procedures, and hopefully some Seychellois will be gainfully em-ployed to play with their own corals.