A first group of 26 fishermen received, today, their Fishermen Registration Cards during a ceremony held at the LIC Building, in Port-Louis. The fishermen were also offered certificates for having successfully completed a General Course for Fisher. The Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Sudheer Maudhoo, was present at the ceremony.
The General Course for Fisher is a foundation programme that has been designed and developed to meet the needs of artisanal fishermen, enabling them to operate outside the lagoon and in particular around Fish Aggregating Devices (FADs). The training, which ran over a period of eight weeks, was held at the Fisheries Training and Extension Centre (FiTEC) at Pointe aux Sables and included theory sessions and practical sessions at sea.
The aim was to provide fishermen with the knowledge, skills and attitude to fish responsibly, efficiently and safely around FADs. The training comprised a component on good fishing practices based on the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries. The modules covered related to fisheries in general, fishing techniques, basic navigation, seamanship, protection and conservation measures, legislations and safety at sea.
In his address, Mr Maudhoo, expressed Government's firm commitment in providing the necessary assistance to the fisher community. On this score he recalled that some 90 Fishermen Registration Cards have been issued since 2015 adding up to the 26 fishermen who received their cards today. A total of 1909 fishermen will also receive their Fishermen Registration Cards shortly, he announced.
The Minister indicated that, through these Fishermen Registration Cards, the fisher community will avail of several benefits namely: Bad weather allowance; Discount on road tax; Loan facilities from the Development Bank of Mauritius; Insurance Cover; and Funeral grant. The children of those fishermen will also reap from other advantages under the Fishermen Welfare Fund.
Furthermore, Mr Maudhoo outlined that various measures have been implemented for the welfare of the fishermen which include a 100% increase regarding bad weather allowance. For the month of July 2020, he underlined, all fishermen were allocated an allowance of Rs 10 200. With regards to the MV Wakashio incident, the Minister reiterated Government's support to those fishermen and boat operators who work in the afflicted regions. These people will also receive an allowance of Rs 10 200 to help them in their daily livelihoods, he added.