Budget 2018-2019 lays emphasis on the ocean economy of Mauritius as the next avenue for the import substitution strategy and for export growth in the medium and long-term. To fully tap the economic possibilities of the ocean, an Ocean Economy Unit will be set up with the responsibility of preparing a National Ocean Policy Paper and the merging of the Mauritius Oceanography Institute and the Albion Fisheries Research Centre into one single institution to boost up research capacity on the ocean economy and in line with the institutional rationalisation strategy.
Moreover, an Ocean Observatory e-platform will be developed to support the Marine Spatial Planning Initiative of Mauritius, and a geotechnical study will be conducted in the extended continental shelf management area of the Mascarene region to explore its potential.
According to the Budget, a Group Life Insurance Scheme will be launched for registered fishermen to cover any accidents and losses at sea. A grant of 60 percent of the cost of acquisition of outboard engines and fishing nets, by fishermen cooperatives, up to a maximum of Rs 60,000 will also be introduced. All registered fishermen will be provided with a free ice box.
With the aim of increasing the availability of fish locally and in line with the import substitution strategy, foreign industrial fishing companies will be allowed to fish in the shallow water banks provided they sell all their catch on the local market.