The Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, proceeded, yesterday at the Maison des Pêcheurs in Mahébourg, with the opening of the Seine Fishing Season 2023. This event coincided with World Seagrass Day, proclaimed in May 2022 by the United Nations General Assembly.
The Minister of Youth Empowerment, Sports and Recreation, Mr Jean Christophe Stephan Toussaint; the Minister of National Infrastructure and Community Development, Mr Mahendranuth Sharma Hurreeram; and other personalities were present on this occasion.
In his address, Minister Maudhoo highlighted his Ministry will continue to provide incentives so as to empower the fishermen’s community, which is at the forefront of the development of the fisheries sector. He indicated that Government recognises the contribution of fishermen in the country’s development and stressed that this profession is becoming more difficult and risky day by day.
Minister Maudhoo seized this opportunity to encourage fishermen to adopt responsible seine fishing, since this activity is now going through a phase of decline in the lagoon as it represents a danger as regards the protection of the lagoon. He also informed that his Ministry is working on a new Bill to try and opt for seine fishing outside the lagoon.
In addition, the Minister observed that out of 1,000 Fisherman Registration Cards allocated in the Budget 2022-2023, 300 have already been attributed to fishermen. He thus appealed to fishermen to register themselves to obtain their Fishermen Registration Cards so as to avail of several benefits such as, for instance, the Bad Weather Allowance.
He moreover urged young fishermen to register themselves and create cooperatives so as to benefit from the grant of Rs 6 million for the acquisition of semi-industrial fishing vessels by registered cooperatives. He further dwelt on some projects that are in the pipeline so as to boost the local fisheries sector and reduce reliance on imports as well as optimise the country’s resources. They include: the renovation of the jetty at the Maison des Pêcheurs in Mahebourg; the dredging to be undertaken in order to enlarge the existing channel for boats to cross; and works to transform Mahebourg into a fishing port for semi-industrial boats.
It is recalled that seine fishing (La Pêche à la Senne) is a method of fishing that employs a fishing net, called a seine, that hangs vertically in the water with its bottom edge held down by weights and its top edge buoyed by floats. Seine nets can be deployed from the shore as a beach seine, or from a boat.