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Fisheries sector constitutes one of the main pillars of Mauritius’ Blue economy, says Minister Koonjoo

Date: April 09, 2019
Persona: Business; Citizen; Government; Non-Citizen

GIS - 09 April, 2019

The fisheries sector is one of the mainstays of the Blue economy of Mauritius and is expected to undergo profound transformation driven by the country’s largely untapped marine resources, market and product diversification, technological development, trade policies and sustainable development.


This statement was made today by the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo, at Blue Bay Marine Park, in Blue Park.  He was speaking at the opening of the Southwest Indian Ocean Fisheries Commission Working Group Meeting (SWIOFC) on Small Pelagic Fisheries being held from 9 to 12 April 2019.


In his address, the Minister indicated that the fisheries sector, which plays a role in poverty alleviation, food security and wealth generation, is threatened by trans-boundary challenges such as overfishing, marine pollution, illegal, unreported, and unregulated fishing and impacts of climate change.  Indeed, the policy response to trans-boundary challenges is closely tied to the sustainable development of the fisheries sector, he emphasised.


At regional level, Mr Koonjoo pointed out, various Regional Fisheries Management Organisations have been set up for sustainable management and rationale exploitation of marine resources.  It is also in this context, the Minister recalled, that the SWIOFC has been created to promote sustainable development of the fisheries sector by coming up with projects to address trans-boundary challenges in all waters of the Indian Ocean including those under the national jurisdiction of Member States.


Speaking about the small pelagic fishery in the SWIOFC Area of Competence, Minister Koonjoo stated that it represents an important source of protein and livelihood for coastal communities of the region.  Despite their relatively low market value, the pelagic fish are at times dominating in the catches and is important to both the industrial and artisanal sectors, he observed.


For Mauritius, the Minister said, surveys in the past have revealed there is potential for exploitation of small pelagic in the Exclusive Economic Zone of Mauritius.  Scientific research should be pursued with regards to the abundance of small pelagic in that particular area to enable industrial exploitation, he added.


The SWIOFC on Small Pelagic Fisheries is addressing the following: stock assessment issues pertaining to small pelagic in order to evolve sound management and conservative approach for pelagic species. It is also providing Member States a platform to share and analyse data on small pelagics such as mackerel and sardines.


The Working Group Meeting of the SWIOFC will be followed with the holding, from 10 to 13 September 2019, of the Working Party for Collaboration and Cooperation in Tuna Fisheries of the Southwest Indian Ocean in Mauritius.  The Working Party will focus on discussions on the sustainable management of tuna resources in the waters of the SWIOFC Member States.​


Government Information Service, Prime Minister’s Office, Level 6, New Government Centre, Port Louis, Mauritius. Email:  Website:  Mobile App: Search Gov​

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