GIS – 18 November 2016: Mauritius is presently exploring possibilities to acquire state-of-the-art equipment with a view to improving the surveillance systems of our maritime zone. The Mauritius Police Force is, thus, in the process of acquiring two Water Jet Fast Attack Crafts from Goa Shipyard Ltd. The first ship (CGS Victory) has been delivered recently and is planned to be commissioned in early December 2016. The second Ship CGS Valiant is scheduled to be delivered in mid-2017.
This reply was given in the National Assembly on 15 November 2016 by the Acting Prime Minister, Minister of Tourism and External Communications, Mr Xavier-Luc Duval, to a Parliamentary Question pertaining to security within our maritime zone.
The Mauritius Maritime Zone stretches over an area of 2.3 million square kilometres and it is the responsibility of the National Coast Guard (NCG) to enforce security of the state of Mauritius and protect our Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) and marine resources by detecting, preventing and suppressing any illegal activity, the Acting Prime Minister said.
He further added that the NCG actively undertakes effective EEZ Surveillance using both surface and air assets. The NCG operates in three layers of surveillance. The first layer of surveillance is carried out along the shore line and within the lagoons mainly by pirogues and avon crafts and is controlled by NCG posts stationed all along the coastline.
The second layer, he underlined, consists of surveillance of coastal waters just outside the lagoons up to about 10 kilometers from the coast and this is done by heavy duty boats and fast interceptor boats. The fast interceptor boats are fitted with modern state-of-the-art radar, GPS and Automatic Identification System (AIS) receiver. They are capable of doing 35 knots to intercept any speed boat or fishing boat operating closer to the coast.
In the third layer, NCG Ships and Aircrafts carry out surveillance sorties in high seas. Five ships are presently deployed for coastal and EEZ surveillance. For extended maritime surveillance, four aircrafts of the NCG’s Maritime Air Squadron and five helicopters attached at the Police Helicopter Squadron are deployed, Acting Prime Minister Duval added.
Furthermore, the surveillance is complemented by the Coastal Surveillance Radar System (CSRS) with AIS since 2011. In total, five radars are installed on mainland Mauritius and one each at Rodrigues, Agalega and St Brandon to monitor the traffic transiting through the EEZ and territorial waters. The radar stations are equipped with AIS receivers to monitor the details of vessels passing closer to or approaching territorial waters of Mauritius.
Moreover, EEZ surveillance is also undertaken on a regular basis in Mauritian waters in collaboration with friendly countries like India and France. During the past five years, thirty five EEZ patrols have been conducted by foreign vessels.
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