Summary conclusions for the fisheries sector
The overriding conclusion is that there is limited potential for the further development of marine capture fisheries, except perhaps, for off shore highly migratory pelagic species such as tunas and swordfish, or for aquaculture in Mauritius. Emphasis must therefore be placed on sustainable resource use and protection of the marine environment (i.e. management), and on maximising returns from existing fisheries through value addition. Additionally, the opportunities to increase production through limited and cautious development of under-utilised resources, and appropriate aquaculture may be explored.
Recommendations common to management and development of the marine environment and fisheries include:
Manage all fisheries and the environment according to internationally recognised codes of conduct. Establish adequate monitoring, resource assessment and control systems, and as more information becomes available develop detailed biological management plans for each fishery.
Establish a trust fund from licence and other sources of revenue for financing fisheries research and management.
Give the Ministry of Fisheries primary responsibility for management of fishery resources in Rodrigues with greater involvement of AFRC staff there.
Freeze the current number of registered fishers and vessels.
Introduce a limited entry licensing system for ALL vessels and fishers engaged in fishing activities to replace the registration system.
Introduce/upgrade licensing system for all middlemen and processing facilities in the post harvest sector.
Implement a fisheries information management system to integrate data from common resources exploited by different categories of vessel. This system should also integrate licensing and other relevant data.
Involve fishing community representatives in a co-management consultation process where practicable, and ensure dissemination of information.
This 10 year development plan outlines a budget for MRs 437 millions to achieve the proposed management and development recommendations which follow. It must be stressed that whilst limited potential for further development exists, a budget of the magnitude proposed is justified. In the absence of environmental and fishery management both the marine coastal environment and fishery resources will be severely degraded resulting in not only their loss to the economy, but also serious damage to the tourist industry.