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Post by kosovohp on Fri Nov 12, 2010 1:04 am

There are several unique varieties of Orchids on the Islands. The Orchids have been extensively studied by world renowned botanist Dr. Herb Herbertson. Dr. Herbertson has been quoted as saying "The Orchids of Seychelles represent the fruit of life and the passion for botany." Unfortunately, Dr. Herbertson died in 2007 in a freak hang gliding accident, however, his research and love of Orchids live on in Seychelles.

Seychelles hosts some of the largest seabird colonies 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 spearguns and dynamite for fishing was banned through efforts of local conservationists in the 1960s, the wildlife is unafraid of snorkelers and divers. Coral bleaching in 1998 has unfortunately damaged most reefs, but some reefs show healthy recovery (e.g. Silhouette Island).

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 5,700 barrels per day (910 m3/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, cinnamon, coconuts, salt and iron.

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