GIS - September 07, 2012: Various projects have been designed by the government to enhance the quality of life of fishermen in Mauritius, said yesterday the Minister of Fisheries, M. Nicolas Van Mally at Petite Rivière Noire in the context of the Marine Ranching Project.
Minister Von Mally recalled that, as part of a pilot project floating cages have been distributed to fishermen cooperative societies in Trou D’Eau Douce and Grand Gaube and that these various projects are in line with what was announced in the Budget Speech 2012.
The Minister of Local Government and Outer Islands, Mr Hervé Aimée, highlighted the multiple benefits of the fisheries sector and urged the fishermen community to be part of the economic democratisation process put in place by the Government.
Minister Aimée pointed out that the 2012 Budget has earmarked Rs 10 million for the implementation of projects in connection with marine ranching and other fisheries project.
In the context of the project, some 30,000 silver sea bream (‘Gueule Pavé), were released in the Petite Rivière Noire Fishing Reserve. The silver sea bream is a winter spawner and was successfully bred at Albion Fisheries Research Centre and has an excellent taste and a high commercial value.
Prior to the release of fingerlings, underwater surveys were carried out and based on the findings, particularly, with regard to the habitat, occurrence of feed (algae) and optimal physico-chemical parameters, the sites were selected.
Moreover, under the marine ranching program a pilot seed production of mud crab (Scylla serrate) was undertaken at Albion Fisheries Research Centre and 200 crablets were produced and released at Pointe d’Esny (the newly proclaimed Ramsar Site) and 100 in Bel Eau Estuary at Albion earlier this year.
Similar projects are foreseen for other fishers’ cooperative societies around the island. The Fishermen Investment Trust has initiated action and is negotiating with the Food Agriculture Organisation and the United Nations Development Programme to assist Mauritius in procuring more cages for the fishermen community.
Sustainable fisheries remain a priority on the government agenda. In Mauritius, seafood demand is increasing and thus pressure on marine resources is rising. In this regard, marine ranching can provide a worthwhile means to sustain the marine resources in Mauritius and its stock for the benefit of the fishermen community.
The Ministry of Fisheries has embarked on a marine ranching programme whereby fish fingerlings are being produced at the Albion Fisheries Research Centre for release at selected sites in the lagoon to increase the stock potential. Species targeted for marine ranching are the cordonnier, Siganus sp., mud crab, Scylla serrate, Gueule Pave, Rhabdosargus sarba and marine shrimp, Penaeus monodon.