Republic of Mauritius

An inception workshop focusing on the theme ‘Support to the Development of a Policy and Strategic Plan for the Blue Economy Sector in Mauritius’, was launched, this morning, by the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, at Le Labourdonnais Hotel, in Port-Louis. 

The workshop, which is a joint collaboration of the Ministry and the Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), aims at devising a Blue Economy Policy and Strategy to support and strengthen the institutional arrangements to further develop the fisheries sector.

In this context, through the Technical Cooperation Programme, the FAO is providing assistance to Mauritius to develop a Policy and Strategic Plan for the blue economy sector. By adopting a collaborative and consultative process, this project is expected to consolidate the existing sectors and promote the development of emerging sectors while nurturing emerging ones.

In his address, Minister Maudhoo reaffirmed Government’s commitment to making blue economy an important sustainable economic pillar and emphasised that the initiative is in line with Government’s 2030 strategy, that of transforming Mauritius into an Ocean State by promoting blue economy as one of its main pillars of development.

On that score, he expressed gratitude for the FAO technical support, and said that it will help spearhead our blue economic sector’s growth. As a Small Island Developing State, the Mauritian territory is expected to contribute significantly to the country’s wealth, he stressed.  He underlined that Mauritius is blessed with an Exclusive Economic Zone of 2.3 million km2 adding that measures need to be taken to tap into this asset.

According to Minister Maudhoo, the development of the blue economy is poised to open huge potential for boosting economic growth, create employment, bring forth structural transformation, boost exports, and reduce imports.

He further spoke of the fisheries and aqua culture, which he qualified as an important subsector of the economy, representing a contribution of 1.4% of the GDP and providing employment to a large section of the population. In addition, he said that the fisheries sector makes a vital contribution to the coastal communities, and ensures supply of fresh production in local market.

Furthermore, the Minister underpinned the need to give consideration to untapped areas, including seaweed culture and sea cucumber culture, for opening new avenues for diversification.

He also dwelt on the various measures that have been taken at the level of his Ministry for the development of the blue economy such as financial incentives provided to purchase equipment and to carry out fishing-related activities and the allocation of some 500 fishermen cards around the country.

Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.

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