Government will implement a National Maritime Security Strategy with a new governance structure aiming at improving the maritime security sector and in particular, to protect against threats such as illegal, unregulated and unreported fishing, piracy and drugs and arms smuggling.
In the light of consultations, a new governance structure, has been proposed with a National Crisis Management Committee, chaired by the Prime Minister, as the apex body. This Committee will give priority directives to a National Maritime and Harbour Security Committee (NMHSC), a Standing Committee chaired by the Secretary to Cabinet and Head of the Civil Service. The NMHSC will be responsible to take stock of all major programmes and measures undertaken by three committees on Maritime and Harbour Security.
These are: a Maritime Security Steering Committee, chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Defence and Rodrigues; a Port Security Committee, chaired by the Director General of the Mauritius Ports Authority; and a Maritime Search and Rescue Standing Committee, to be chaired by the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping.
It is recalled that Maritime security in the Western Indian Ocean basin is a major challenge to ensure the sustainable development throughout East and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean. In that regard and so as to better address maritime security issues, Mauritius hosted last year a first Ministerial Conference on maritime security which was attended by several Ministers and a number of regional and international organisations. The 2018 Ministerial meeting had agreed on the need for strengthening regional cooperation in the fight against maritime crime.