GIS - 19 November, 2015: A two-day wrap-up workshop for the project "Combatting Illegal Fishing, Marine Resources Management and Strengthening Quality of Fish Products" opened this morning at the Mauritius Maritime Training Academy in Pointe aux Sables.
Organised by the ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands in collaboration with the Norwegian Agency for Development Cooperation (NORAD), the workshop is providing the platform to present the outcomes of the collaboration between the two countries and to discuss the findings of the various components of the project which have been implemented.
Present at the opening, the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mr Premdut Koonjoo stressed the strong relationship between Mauritius and Norway, while adding that the joint efforts of the Norwegian experts and Mauritian counterparts will lead to further cooperation.
He recalled that the project agreement, signed in April 2008 between the then Ministry of Agro Industry, Food Production and Security and NORAD under the Bilateral Cooperation Programme, was financed for the sustainable utilisation of marine living resources in the waters of Mauritius through the implementation of various components.
The project was funded to the tune of Rs 45 million and a further Rs 10 million following an addendum to the Agreement and planned for period 2012 to 2014. Initially valid for a period of three years, it was extended up to December 2015.
The main objectives of the project were to establish a National Plan of Action against illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing, and assist in the implementation of the plan, and capacity building in this aspect; strengthen competence in marine resources assessment and management as well as in quality control of fish and fish products.
The bilateral cooperation agreement with Norway comprised various project components which have been implemented. Out of the 13 project components, the major achievements within the ambit of the Project include:
· Launching of a National Plan of Action to combat Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated fishing;
· Successful acoustic surveys and trial fishing using new gear on the banks of Nazareth, St. Brandon for identification of unexploited stocks.
· Training and capacity building in Stock assessment, vessel monitoring system, hydro acoustic survey and fishery policy and planning.
· Drafting of regulations for the Competent Authority seafood (Regulations for aquatic animal feed and aquatic farming)
· Drafting of the new Fisheries & Aquaculture Bill.
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