The Fishing Industry and many other private companies wish to develop the country’s economy by focusing on various areas coming from the seas. The aquaculture, algae culture and pearl oysters will thus enable, according to the prospects envisaged to create more than 1,000 jobs in Mauritius.

Twenty two sites, of which the vast majority in the East of Mauritius, have already been identified for the implementation of future fish farms that could produce annually 39,000 tons of fish

This Board of Investment (BOI) in partnership with the Ministry of Fisheries has started to explore the local and international investors who are interested in these marine conservation projects. If the authorities wish to attract foreign investors as well as local ones in the “blue” economy by proposing projects in aquaculture, such as the culture of algae as well as the culture of pearl oysters, they need to do something fast in that sector..

It is said that the project of making the ocean a pillar of the Mauritian economy is under study but for how long? The BOI has some time ago launched an appeal of great interest. The aim of this exercise is to get to know the potential ability of local and international investors so that these projects interest them.

It’s about a project of aquaculture of high level to do with culture of algae and also culture of pearl oysters. More than a thousand jobs could be created. In this context the BOI associates itself with the Ministry of Fishing, and with the Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI) and with Mauritius Research Council (MRC) for the purpose of promoting these activities.

Aquaculture is the rearing or breeding in cage of fish for commercial purposes. According to the BOI, the lagoon of Mauritius and Rodrigues are ideal for these activities. The national potential of production in its short term is estimated at 29,000 tons. This figure could reach 39,000 tons in the long term basis, according to the BOI. To this day only one enterprise is engaged for the time being, it’s about La Ferme Marine de Mahebourg in which the annual production is of 500 tons. This company employs about hundred persons.

According to BOI, every year the sector of algae culture increases to 7.7% since 1970. The lagoons of Mauritius and Rodrigues should not miss such an opportunity because there are more than 300 species of algae in which 45 have got a commercial potential value. According to a pilot scheme conducted by the MRC our lagoons offer different necessary conditions such as the water temperature as well as the amount of nutrients, oxygen and of salt.

The MRC has already created a network of Mauritian and Rodriguan fishermen that could collaborate in the culture of algae. The BOI has already proceeded to a pearl oyster culture on a pilot basis in the South East of the island.

It would appear that our country possesses a strong potential in this activity as the lagoons of Mauritius and Rodrigues are good for business. The cultivated pearls in the local jewellery business are good business for tourists and also good for exportation. According to BOI, these pearls associate themselves well with the destination image of the island of Mauritius.

 Ahmad Macky (The Author)

NOTE : Les points de vue exprimés dans cette rubrique ne reflètent pas nécessairement ceux de la rédaction et n’engagent que les auteurs eux-mêmes.