In its latest TAKING STOCK assessment of online transparency in global fisheries, the Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) investigated the information that Mauritian national authorities make available to the public via government websites. Mauritius is clearly a poor performer in terms of transparency in this sector. 12 thematic areas were examined.
Illustration: our report (extract) on overfishing, to be read in full in the latest issue of the magazine…
“Overall, the results reveal the country’s poor performance; although some information is published, the majority of what is needed for open and inclusive fisheries management remains inaccessible,” summarizes Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI). The dissemination and compilation of this information is the responsibility of the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Marine. “The website is not well maintained, characterized by sparse content and blank pages, and the Ministry’s annual reports provide limited information on the 12 thematic areas,” FiTI adds.
Opacity of grant agreements.
There is no report on the status of exploited fish populations, “despite evidence that many species are probably overexploited” and “although the government has carried out studies on the health of some fish stocks”. While Mauritius licenses many foreign-owned (but domestically flagged) industrial fishing vessels, the government does not publish a list of licensed vessels, let alone information on their owners. Fishing access agreement contracts with foreign countries such as the Seychelles are not public. Statistics on artisanal fishing are also lacking. The report also deplores the lack of transparency in the granting of subsidies to operators in the fishing sector.
Fisheries Transparency Initiative (FiTI) notes that the situation is going from bad to worse. In the 2000s, the situation was better, says the organization. Le journal des Archipels contacted the Ministère de l’Économie Bleue for comment. Our e-mail went unanswered.