Mauritius: A W24 Yamaha fibre-glass Patrol Boat of 7.32m, funded to the tune of USD 4.4 Million by the Government of Japan, was launched yesterday by the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Sudheer Maudhoo, at the Fisheries Training and Extension Centre in Pointe aux Sables.
The boat comes with complete accessories (GPS, Depth sensor, Compass), a trailer, along with safety equipment. It is propelled by two 70 HP Outboard engines.
Mauritius received the Patrol Boat under the project ‘For enhancing livelihoods, food security and maritime security through increased resilience of fishing communities dependent on coral reef fisheries in the African Coastal countries of the Indian Ocean’. The project is a joint collaboration of the Japanese Government and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations.
The launching ceremony was also marked by an award of certificates to officers who had received training on patrol boat familiarisation, handling and maintenance.
In his address, Minister Sudheer Maudhoo dwelt on the outcomes of the project, which include: improved management of fisheries around coral reefs and FADs, both for restoration and protection, as well as for income generation; improved fishery value chains and access to markets for coral reef and FAD fisheries products; and reduced illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and increased maritime safety.
Other equipment includes: 90 sets of longline fishing gear (60 sets for Mauritius and 30 for Rodrigues); 20 lobster traps; three ice-making machines; 50 tablets to be used for the registration system of artisanal fishers and artisanal fishing boats, as well as for catch data collection; and three oysters display units, will be procured under the project, he added.
The Minister also underlined that the project is targeting hundreds of small-scale fishers and other fisheries professionals in the five participating countries, totalling 30,000 direct beneficiaries. Two hundred direct beneficiaries in Mauritius and 100 in Rodrigues are targeted under this project, he informed.
Minister Maudhoo highlighted that over the course of the implementation of the project, the Governments of the participating countries will work on solutions to preserve this resource base for future generations by improving coral reef fisheries production for food security, restoring fragile ecosystems, and assisting fishing communities to better manage their coral resources.
Furthermore, the Minister emphasised that the launching of the Patrol Boat comes at an opportune time, that is, when the Ministry is tightening its fight against IUU fishing which, he warned, is a significant environmental, economic and social problem and represents a major threat to marine ecosystems, a disruption for seafood market and an unfair disadvantage to responsible fishers.
The Patrol Boat, he added, will undoubtedly enhance the mobility and capacity of patrol officers as well as increase their monitoring and surveillance activities. The Minister moreover announced the elaboration of more stringent penalties to combat IUU fishing, in line with the Government’s aim of replenishing our fish stock and securing the sustainability of our ocean.