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Saturday, April 13, 2024

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Conference On Artisanal Fishing Regroups Representatives Of Several Indian Ocean Islands

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A four-day conference on the theme L’Evolution de la Pêche Artisanale dans l’océan Indien : Contraintes, Perspectives et Stratégies kicked-off, today, at Le Four à Chaux Restaurant in Trou d’Eau Douce. This conference is being organised by the Trou d’Eau Douce Fishermen Co-operative Society Ltd in collaboration with the Ministry of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, and the Fédération des Pêcheurs Artisans de l’océan Indien (FPAOI).

Some 30 participants from Mauritius, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar, and Reunion Island are attending the conference, which aims at sharing best practices in the field of artisanal fishing and at reflecting on the future of this sector in Mauritius.

Conference On Artisanal Fishing

The Minister of Industrial Development, SMEs and Cooperatives, Mr Soomilduth Bholah, the Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, and other eminent personalities were present at the opening ceremony.

In his address, Minister Bholah highlighted that this conference comes at an opportune time as representatives of several countries will be able to discuss and share their experience, as well as constraints and opportunities offered by artisanal fishing. He however recognised that local fishermen nowadays face several difficulties as there is a decrease in fish population around the island. As such, he added, the FPAOI is invited to provide viable solutions through their expertise, knowledge and experience in artisanal fishing.

Minister Bholah underscored that, in addition to the measures being implemented by the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, his Ministry is providing several facilities to fishermen cooperative societies. They include, among others, a scheme for acquiring fishing boat engines, and a refrigerated truck put at the disposal of cooperative societies to ease the transportation of their catch in good sanitary conditions, he added.

Sudheer Maudhoo
Sudheer Maudhoo

For his part, Minister Maudhoo underlined that the FPAOI, through this conference, will try and find solutions so as to ease the life of local artisanal fishermen. Following the four-day conference, he pointed out, representations will be forwarded to his Ministry so that Government can find new means to support local fishermen.

The Blue Economy Minister also indicated that Rs 25 million have been earmarked for coral culture as well as for repopulating the lagoon. He added that, as from next week, training in coral culture will be offered to fishermen in front of four hotels, with the collaboration of the latters. This endeavour, he observed, will encourage the collaboration between Government, hotels and the fisherman community so as to restore the marine ecosystem around the island and some 1,000 fishermen are expected to benefit from this training.

In addition, he commended the Trou d’Eau Douce Fishermen Co-operative Society Ltd for having come up will a value chain system whereby it provides cool boxes to fishermen to ensure freshness of their daily catch. He informed that a selection of products is then sold directly to a hotel of the region at a higher price, and encourages other cooperative societies to adopt the same practice which, according to him, enables fishermen to increase their revenue.

Minister Maudhoo also dwelt on the various existing schemes already in place so as to ensure Government’s support to the local fishermen community.

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