GIS – 23 December 2013: In the wake of the implementation of the roadmap of the Ocean Economy, the advisory services of the World Bank have been enlisted for the development of the legislative, regulatory and fiscal framework for the Hydrocarbon and the Deep Sea Mineral Mining sector.
Economic activities that have been identified in the roadmap, as possible priority areas, include: Seabed Exploration Hydrocarbon and Minerals; Fishing, Seafood Processing and Aquaculture; Deep Ocean Water Applications; Marine Services, including Marine Biotechnology; Marine Renewable Energies; and Ocean Knowledge, amongst others.
Besides hydrocarbon exploitation within the 2.3 million km2 of the Mauritius Maritime Zone, there are unexplored opportunities for deep mineral mining in waters beyond the country’s national jurisdiction under the framework of the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea. Since mineral resources are administered by the International Seabed Authority, under a Common Heritage of Mankind approach, it is important for Mauritius to position itself to take advantage of the opportunity.
The 2014 Budget lists out Ocean Economy as a new economic pillar and makes provision for the setting up of a National Ocean Economy Task Force to oversee implementation of the Roadmap, supported by an Office for Ocean Affairs and Development.
Other measures for this new pillar pertain to the preparation of a Petroleum and Minerals Exploration and Extraction Framework Agreement; Rs 6 billion for two Deep Ocean Water Application projects already in the pipeline; and the establishment of a new faculty on Ocean studies at the University of Mauritius.
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