Mauritius: A group of 130 fishermen received their certificate and Artisanal Fisher Registration Cards, and Shrimp Net Licences after successfully completing the General Course for Fisher yesterday, at the Mauritius Maritime Training Academy, in Pointe aux Sables.
The Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, the Parliamentary Private Secretaries, Dr Anjiv Ramdhany and Mrs Teenah Jutton, and other personalities were present.
The General Course for Fisher, spanning over eight days, aimed at imparting knowledge and skills to non-registered fishermen who have applied for the Fisherman Registration Card so that they can venture out of the lagoon and around the Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs) in the open sea.
It comprises modules on fishing and navigation techniques, security at sea, and protecting and preserving fish resources. Participants are offered a stipend of Rs 300 per day during the training.
In his address, Minister Maudhoo elaborated on governmental measures to reach its target of allocating 1000 fishermen cards, thus reducing the long waiting list for the acquisition of these cards. For the year 2022, some 340 cards have been allocated, he pointed out.
The Minister further highlighted the new criteria for fishers’ registration, including the necessity to have swimming skills. He categorized the job of a fisherman as perilous and dwelt on the difficulties faced by fishermen.
He stated that many persons are not eager to join the sector and therefore called on the youth to submit their application for fishermen cards and contribute to the fisheries sector.
The Minister also elaborated on measures to support and enhance the quality of life of fishermen. They include:
- The ‘Canotte Scheme’, that is, a grant representing 50% of the cost of assistance for the purchase of a fibreglass fishing boat and engine up to a maximum amount of Rs 200,000;
- The forthcoming installation of light buoys along 22 channels around the country;
- A new fisheries post at Case Noyale;
- Construction of a jetty at Mahebourg;
- And write off loans for families upon the death of registered fishers.
Speaking on the bad weather allowance, he indicated that Government disbursed more than Rs 110 million for the year 2021-2022 , adding that more than Rs 53 million has been allocated for the period June to December 2022.
He moreover urged the fishermen community to ensure that the beach is kept clean and free from pollution, given that it is their only source of living, thereby contributing to a more resilient and sustainable environment.