The Albion Fisheries Research Centre
The Albion Fisheries Research Centre (AFRC) was established in 1981/1982 with the assistance of the Government of Japan under a Grant Aid Project and it is operational since June 1982, under the aegis of the Ministry of Fisheries.
The AFRC is the technical arm of the Fisheries Division of Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping carries out applied research, development and management activities. The infrastructure has been gradually expanded over the years so as to cope with the increasing diversity of projects being implemented. In 1982, the AFRC had a total floor area of 1300m2 comprising administrative, laboratory, and machine/workshop blocks and a hatchery. In 1987, a marine shrimp culture experimental station was added to it comprising a shrimp hatchery, laboratory block and ponds.
The AFRC was further extended in December 1995 to house a conference hall and laboratory facilities for marine ecology, marine chemistry, marine bacteriology and physical oceanography.
The facilities at the Albion Fisheries Research Centre now cover a total surface area of 3,410m² which include an office/administration block, laboratories, hatcheries and a documentation Unit. The Centre has a staff strength of 88 officers consisting of the scientific and technical grade supported by administrative staff and manual workers.
To ensure continued economic growth, social development within the framework of good governance, the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping has established eight divisions, five of which are based at AFRC. These divisions relate to Aquaculture, Marine Conservation, Marine Science, Marine Resources and Laboratories.
The setting up of the Fisheries Monitoring Centre at AFRC in February 2005 has improved the monitoring of fishing vessels in the EEZ of Mauritius through a Vessel Monitoring System (VMS). It monitors fishing activities of local and foreign licensed vessels as part of a coherent management strategy to improve the sustainable exploitation of resources to reduce illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing in the Mauritian EEZ. The VMS is linked with two workstations at the National Coast Guard Headquarters at Port Louis and the Maritime Air Squadron at Plaisance.
The basic objectives of the Albion Fisheries Research Centre are:
· carry out research and studies needed for sustainable development and management of marine living resources (fish stocks, coral reef etc.);
· provide support services to stakeholders of the fishing industry (including those involved in aquaculture development);
· provide advice to policy makers on matters related to the management and development of living marine resources and the conservation of marine environment including the creation of marine parks and reserves in accordance with the provisions of the Fisheries and Marine Resources Act 2007 and the Environmental Protection Act; and
· carry out collaborative research and management as regard regional and international fisheries and marine living resources.
· carry out stock enhancement through marine ranching.
Main activities of Albion Fisheries Research Centre
The main activities that are carried out by the Centre are summarised as follows:
· monitoring of existing fishing activities (including fishing vessels) and fish stock assessment (artisanal, banks and tuna) in order to evolve management measures for their sustainable development;
· surveys and charting for new or untapped resources or fishing grounds, development of appropriate fishing techniques and provision of advise on exploitation and management of these resources;
· collaborative research/studies with regional, international organisations such as the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) for the management of tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean, the Indian Ocean Commission (COI) in fisheries and marine ecosystem monitoring studies and other foreign institutions;
· development and improvement of aquaculture production techniques. Seed production of sea breams is being improved for stock enhancement. Red tilapia and sea bream fingerlings are produced for distribution to fish farmers;
· ecological surveys to monitor and collect baseline data on coral reefs and water quality for the conservation of aquatic biodiversity and the marine environment;
· management of marine protected areas. Two marine parks have been proclaimed namely at Balaclava and Blue Bay;
· enhancement of fish stocks and rehabilitation of ecosystems such as the release of juveniles in the lagoon and mangroves propagation in the coastal zones;
· screening of potentially toxic fishes and harmful microalgae;
· coral farming for the rehabilitation of the coral reef.
Assistant Director Fisheries
Albion Fisheries Research Centre
Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping
Tel.: +(230) 238 4100
+(230) 238 4829
+(230) 238 4744
Fax: +(230) 238 4184