Semi Industrialised Fisheries for Alternative Livelihood
Semi Industrialised Fisheries for Alternative Livelihood
The proposed action is concerned with the development of a semi industrial fishery, involving long-line fishing. 16 dedicated and committed artisanal fishermen grouped under Seabirds Fishmongers and Fishermen Multipurpose Co-operative Society Limited, a registered cooperative society from Tombeau Bay village, have decided to embark on this challenging project as beneficiaries. This project is in line with government policy to encourage artisanal fishermen to explore offshore capture fisheries, which should provide them with major economic benefits. Relocating fishing efforts to offshore areas should be translated through financial assistance and capacity building to artisanal fishermen as a vulnerable group. They have applied for and received a loan from the Food Security Fund to the tune of Rs.4,5M at interest rate of 5% with a moratorium period of 3 years to purchase the fishing vessel. See attached letter and project financial appraisal from the Ministry of Agro-industry, Food Production and Security (Fisheries Division).

Artisanal fishing in Mauritius is characterized by a strong dispersion of local fishermen around the coast of the island and they continue to remain as one of the most vulnerable groups in Mauritius in spite of the development in the fishing sector. They have always remained compliant to their poor economic status which many of them perceive as a matter of destiny. Exploited by intermediates for decades, most of them have not really gained the ownership of their business to become free entrepreneurs. On the other hand Government policies in the past and today has always encouraged them to go for offshore and bank fishery, but never really sort out the critical issue of financial assistance nor did they feel any need to set up close follow-up system to help them to implement such project.

Most of the existing artisanal fishermen have been restricted to lagoon fishing. Our lagoon is over exploited and is under constant pressure. For many years, the sugar industry has been using corals for lime production and this has depleted the lagoon marine environment and been a serious obstacle to the proliferation of fish. The lagoon which is the ultimate sink of land based activities is constantly affected by pollution. The wastes entering the marine environment consist mainly of organic matter originated form sewage outfalls and sugar factories, chemicals from manufacturing industries and nutrients and pesticides coming form agriculture. This pollution has already a serious impact on fish population and its proliferation in the lagoon. In fact average catch per fisherman dropped from 6.1 kg/day in the year 2000 to 4.2 kg/day in 2003. According to local fishermen, the average catch has further dropped to 2.5 kg/day in 2005. There is both an urgent need to relieve pressure on the lagoon fishing stock to avoid further depletion and to relocate part of artisanal fishermen from the lagoon to offshore fishery. Moreover the ten year development plan for fisheries released in 1998 aims at preventing further degradation of marine coastal environment and fishery resources. The plan lays emphasis on sustainable use of existing resources and protection of the marine environment.

The action would consist of buying a fully equipped fiberglass medium-sized fishing boat of 14.5m in length and 5m in width for long-line fishing. It is expected that after the first two weeks, the project would be generating sufficient revenues to cover all operational expenses. The action will include some major activities namely:
1. Purchase of a 14.5m fiber glass fishing vessel for exploitation in the EEZ of Mauritius; The boat has already been identified and awaits purchase.
2. Creation of direct employment for 16 (+5 spare) fishermen at start and through expansion in the future, creation of more employment in the sector;
3. Increase of catch for the fisherman from 3kg on average to 42kg;
4. Allow the wives of the fishermen to be involved in the fishing industry
5. Contribute to the overall GDP of the country either directly or indirectly
6. Help the government in alleviating poverty on the island and increase the welfare of the people
The proposed action will be covered over a period of around 12 months. The fishing vessel will be operating on the St Brandon, Albatross and Hawkins banks, which are within 1.9km2 of Mauritius Marine Economic Zones. The cooperative society will be responsible for the implementation of the action of the beneficiaries. The average monthly revenue of the artisanal fishermen is around Rs 5,500 presently, which is far below the poverty line based on family income of Rs 10,000. The artisanal fisherman fishing days are around 200 days/ year and the latter has to remain ashore for the remaining days of the year because of bad weather. The main limiting factor restraining the fisherman from fishing safely throughout the year is his frail embarkation/ fishing vessel.

The project seeks to develop an offshore fishing management approach for artisanal fishermen based on long term sustainability and responsible fishing. The fishermen will be empowered to assume the ownership of the project through capacity building and a follow up system. The children of the fishermen will be invited to join offshore fishing trips as a new breed of fishing entrepreneurs. The project will also improve the quality of life of the artisanal fishermen’s families, involved therein. Women usually play a key role in promoting food security through their activities in the fisheries sector. In that respect, the fishermen’s wives as well as other women in the locality will be invited to get involved in the marketing of the chilled fish.

Project beneficiaries are vulnerable fishers from the Seabirds Fishmongers and Fishermen Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited and have several years of experience in long-line fishing. Participation of beneficiaries in decision making process at management level and in the implementation of activities is essential for the sustainability of the project in the long run. PME (Participatory Monitoring and Evaluation) as a tool will be used by the Project Management Committee to monitor and measure project performance. PIM (Participatory Impact Monitoring) is another tool which would be used to improve project steering, learning and capacity building of beneficiaries. Both tools would ensure the sustainability of the project qualitatively and quantitatively. Moreover, systemization as a tool to continuously analyze the project activities would be used to generate knowledge, to improve its implementation and impact, to share lessons learned, to improve project performance, and to enhance the organizational capacity of beneficiaries through skills development. Special focus will be laid on financial management, marketing, fishing vessel management to ensure the sustainability of the project.

It is estimated that this action will generate Rs 320,000 per week as revenue and will help in the alleviation of poverty in the country by giving employment to several people and their families in the suburb regions. Through direct taxes, the co-operative society will participate fully in the GDP of Mauritius.

This project will also support the sustainable management of natural resources and conservation and protection of marine biodiversity, which is in line with the GEF SGP policies.


The total cost of the project is Rs 10,006,985.
Funding will be met as follows:
Loan approved by Food Security Fund (see letter in annex): Rs4,500,000 to purchase boat
Details of loan are as follows:
Annual Interest Rate: 5%
Payback period: 10 years including a 3 year moratorium
Grant Requested from GEF SGP: Rs. 1,689,997
Yearly income estimated at Rs.7,464,000
 
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Project Snapshot

Grantee:
Seabirds Fishmongers and Fishermen Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Ltd
Country:
Mauritius
Area Of Work:
Biodiversity
International Waters
Grant Amount:
US$ 50,000.00
Co-Financing Cash:
US$ 248,405.00
Co-Financing in-Kind:
Project Number:
MAR/SGP/OP4/YR3/CORE/09/03
Status:
Project Terminated Before Completion
Project Characteristics and Results
Capacity - Building Component
The Action is very relevant to the objectives and priorities of the program. The fishing vessel will enable artisanal fishermen as a vulnerable group to shift to reliable and sustainable income generating fishing activities. Seabirds Fishmongers and Fishermen Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited beneficiaries are in the process of developing their capacities as entrepreneur and are prepared for a new and innovative approach for exploitation long-line fishery. This fishing enterprise is part of major strategies to combat poverty and unemployment. However it is critical to develop capacities of these fishing professionals to build their managerial capacity. The Secretary of the Cooperative has followed a training course on leadership and management at the Ministry of Cooperatives and in collaboration with the same Ministry will deliver the training to his fellow fishers. Seabirds Fishmongers and Fishermen Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited will be responsible to manage the whole fishing project. 1 week workshop will be organised at Seabirds Fishmongers and Fishermen Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited. The workshops will focus on project management, project monitoring and evaluation (PME) and Project Impact Monitoring (PIM) in relation to the fishing project. It will focus on the organisation of fishing teams, principles, rules and regulations, and the do’s and don’ts to be applied to the project, roles and responsibilities, the beneficiaries’ contract, and market strategy. The workshop will focus on fishery legislations, boat maintenance with special focus on engine maintenance and preparation for the setting up of the Seabirds Fishmongers and Fishermen Multi-purpose Co-operative Society Limited innovative fishing management committee. The Secretary of the Cooperative has followed a training course on leadership and management at the Ministry of Cooperatives and in collaboration with the same Ministry will deliver the training to his fellow fishers.
Emphasis on Sustainable Livelihoods
The action seeks to alleviate the problem of poverty in the suburbs of Port Louis. By relocating inshore fishermen for the offshore, the project will sustain the livelihood of 16 fishermen families of the locality and enabling them to earn sufficient income to cover most of their financial needs and creating of employment opportunities for more fishermen in the future. The action will definitely have a positive impact on generating other economic activities in the villages. For example women in the village will be invited to participate in the marketing of the extra fishes caught. Moreover the action will open new opportunities in fresh fish food businesses for other target groups namely ex-laborers who retired with the VRS. The action will give access to beneficiaries to exploit bank fishery and improve their daily catch per fisher from 3 kg in the lagoon to 42 kg from bank fishery. This will enable them to obtain a very reasonable monthly income that is much above the minimum vital. Fishermen families will have sufficient revenue to ensure the food security of their respective families.

Partnership

Food Security Fund

Grantee Contact

Mr Dhanraj Gungadin
Phone: 247 1228
 

Address

33 Le Goulet
Tombeau Bay ,

SGP Country office contact

Mrs. Pamela Bapoo-Dundoo
Phone:
(230) 213 53 84
Fax:
(230) 212 14 11
Email:

Address

2nd Floor, Sugar Industry Pension Fund Building, 1 Remy Ollier Street
Port Louis, Mauritius

Country Website