Mauritius: The new Case Noyale Fisheries Post, aimed at better monitoring fishing activities and enforcing the Fisheries Legislation in combatting illegal fishing, was inaugurated yesterday during a ceremony in Case Noyale.
The Minister of Land Transport and Light Rail, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade, Alan Ganoo; the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Sudheer Maudhoo; the Parliamentary Private Secretary, Nand Prakash Ramchurrun; the Member of Parliament, Marie Sandra Monia Mayotte; and other personalities were present.
In his address, Minister Maudhoo highlighted that the modern Fisheries Post, funded to the tune of some Rs 17 million, is equipped with all necessary facilities. It comprises the main building, an inflammable store, a generator room, parking spaces, and a jetty with integrated solar light.
Speaking about the profession of fishermen, the Minister underlined that it is a very difficult one and commended the fishermen community for braving the dangers at sea daily to ensure the availability of fresh fish for local consumption.
The government, he further recalled, is implementing several measures to boost activities in the fisheries sector as well as to enhance the life of fishermen. These include: allocating fishermen a grant representing 50% of the cost of a fibreglass fishing boat and engine up to a maximum of Rs 200,000; allocating Rs 5,000 per fisher for the purchase of materials to assemble fish traps; financial assistance of Rs 2,500 for the purchase of hooks; increasing the bad weather allowance; writing off of loans of fishermen; providing Rs 52,500 to retired fishermen; and increasing the grant for the acquisition of semi-industrial fishing vessels by registered cooperatives from Rs 4 million to Rs 6 million.
As for the allocation of fishermen’s registration cards, the Minister indicated that 323 such cards were allotted in 2022. The target is to assign another 1000 cards to fishers by the end of 2023, he said.
The Minister also encouraged the youth to join the fishing industry so as to become self-sufficient. He observed that two-thirds of seafood products are imported, hence the need to provide the fishermen community with all facilities to boost the local sector while optimising the country’s resources and reducing dependence on imports.
For his part, Minister Ganoo lauded the initiatives undertaken by the Fisheries Ministry and all stakeholders to innovate and develop the fishing industry and valorise the work of fishermen. The new Fisheries Post will benefit the fishermen of the region of Case Noyale in terms of facilitating the processes pertaining to the application and renewal of licences as well as for the application of bad weather allowance, he added.
He further stressed the ocean’s pivotal role in contributing to the economy while highlighting that it has the potential to become one of the main pillars of the Mauritian economy. He also paid homage to all the fishermen who have lost their lives while contributing to the fisheries industry.