GIS - 14 June, 2013: The fisheries sector should be looked at differently as sustainable fisheries is an important issue on the Government agenda, said yesterday the Vice Prime Minister, Minister of Finance and Economic Development, Mr Xavier-Luc Duval during the harvest of fishes reared in cages in the context of the Pilot Cage Culture Project at sea in Grand Gaube.
The Minister of Fisheries, Mr Nicolas Von Mally, underlined that these projects are designed to raise the standard of living of fishermen and urged fishermen to make the most of the various advantages that are being offered to them.
The Minister of Business, Enterprise and Cooperatives, Mr J. Seetaram, 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. They invited the fishermen to group themselves in cooperatives.
The cage culture project in Grand Gaube is being managed by the St Pierre Fishermen Multipurpose Cooperative Society.
In the first phase of the project, the Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) provided freely the floating cages including nets, the fingerlings and feed to the cooperative society. The AFRC also assisted the cooperative society through the provision of technical guidance in the culture of cordonier.
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 and 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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