- 26 September, 2016:
Eight beneficiaries under the Canotte Scheme received on Friday 23 September 2016 their cheques for the purchase of ‘canottes’ during a handing-over ceremony at the Fisheries Training and Extension Centre in Pointe aux Sables.
The Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands has transferred a sum of Rs 5 million to the Development Bank of Mauritius (DBM) for this second phase of the Canotte Scheme.
‘Canottes’ are better equipped boats designed for fishing in the outer lagoon. Under the scheme, a registered fisherman is eligible to a grant representing 50% of the cost of a ‘canotte’ and engine up to an amount of Rs 200,000 The fisherman can finance the other 50% on his own or contract a loan of Rs 200,000 from the DBM under the artisanal fishermen scheme or under the DBM’s normal loan scheme should the amount exceed Rs 200,000.
The Rs 200,000 loan from the DBM is repayable over an eight-year period, including a one-year moratorium, and carries an interest rate of 7.65%. The funds are disbursed directly to the boat builder, who has to be listed at the Ministry. The ‘canotte’ should be a new fibre glass reinforced plastic vessel of above 7 m and less than 12 m in length equipped with either an inboard or outboard engine of 15 Horsepower and above. The boat should be registered with the Ministry.
For the second phase of the Canotte project, 20 fishermen submitted their applications, which were transmitted to the DBM for implementation. Out of the 20, thirteen were eligible for grant/loan, while seven had pending cases including arrears.
Of these 13, the requests of eight beneficiaries have been approved by the Bank. The five other cases are under process as the applicants still have to submit necessary documents.
The Canotte scheme and other funding facilities
Under the Budget 2014, funds were made available to the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands to implement a special scheme with a view to providing financial support to the fisherman community to enable them to purchase better equipped boats namely ‘canottes’ to be used as a tool to enhance their livelihood and to encourage fishermen to fish in the off-lagoon.
The Canotte scheme is being implemented under the Fisheries Sectoral Programme of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and Mauritius. In 2015, the Bank approved 11 projects, for an amount of Rs 3,941,406, representing both grant and loan elements.
The project has been maintained in the 2016-2017 Budget, and will continue over the coming years.
Moreover, in the 2016-17 Budget, in order to encourage outer-reef and bank fishing, a grant of 50 %, up to a capacity of Rs 4 million will be given to cooperative societies to enable them to acquire semi-industrial vessels. The Ministry is presently finalising the proposed scheme with MauBank.
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