GIS - August 30, 2012: We need to look at the fisheries sector differently as sustainable fisheries is an important item on the Government agenda, said this morning the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Xavier-Luc Duval at the handing over ceremony of floating cages in the context of the Pilot Cage Culture Project at sea at Grand Gaube.
Minister Duval pointed out that in line with government’s policy to democratise the economy, it is important for fishermen to become professionals in trying new fishing and fish rearing techniques and be active actors in the blue economy.
The Minister of Fisheries, Mr Nicolas Von Mally, underlined that these projects are designed to raise the standard of living of fishermen and pointed out that the floating cages that cost Rs 300 000 are being offered freely to the fishermen of this pilot project.
The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr J. Seetaram urged the fishermen to regroup themselves in cooperatives as there is a need to professionalise the fisheries sector. The Minister of Health and Quality of Life, Mr L. Bundhoo, and the Minister of Arts, Mr M. Choonee were also present at the ceremony.
Today, the St. Pierre Fishermen Multipurpose Cooperative Society is benefitting from the 2nd cage culture. This cooperative society of 14 members has been mainly active in the net fishery. Participation in this cage culture activity actually will supplement their revenue.
The floating cages are a donation from the Japan International Cooperation Agency. Each floating cage consists of 4 net cages (4m*4m*4m). In the context of this pilot project, the Ministry of Fisheries is also providing free of costs the fingerlings (acclimatised berry rouge) and feed for the initial phase along with technical guidance to the fishers throughout the project.
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.
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