Transfer of fish farming knowledge from NIFES to Mauritius

Norway's NIFES is supporting Mauritius' plans to expand fish farming with scientific advice for the establishment of appropriate legislation and monitoring of fish and feed
May 28, 2009

Transfer of fish farming knowledge from NIFES to Mauritius

The tropical island of Mauritius in the Indian Ocean aims aims to increase its fish farming activities. The National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) is contributing with scientific advice in order for Mauritius to establish appropriate legislation and monitoring of both fish and feed.

Mauritius is an island of 2000 sq. km. with a population of about one million and an economic zone for sea territories covering a vast 1.9 million sq. km. The island currently has one sea bass farm and licenses have been granted for a further six farms. In 2008, Norad started a 3-year program of co-operation between the Centre for Development Co-operation in Fisheries, the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research, the Directorate of Fisheries and the National Institute of Nutrition and Seafood Research (NIFES) on the Norwegian side, and the Ministry of Agro Industry and Fisheries (MAIF) in Mauritius. The aim of the project is to share expertise on management of fisheries and fish farming activities. 

"Through several workshops NIFES will contribute with expertise within monitoring systems to assist public management in Mauritius and the establishment of monitoring systems for the island’s fish farming activities. This includes the production of fish feed, the use of therapeutics and control of residual therapeutics in fish", said researcher Bjørn Tore Lunestad, at NIFES.

Fish from a number of countries is landed and processed in Mauritius, thus providing a stable supply of fish cuttings. NIFES and the Norwegian Institute of Marine Research have completed a workshop in Mauritius in May this year which aimed to address how to apply this raw material, which legislation to adopt and which monitoring system is the most appropriate. 

"Since undesirable substances in fish feed can affect fish health and food safety, it is important to have stringent control and surveillance, and appropriate regulations", said Lunestad.

"It is also important that the fish receive good quality feed. The workshop in May also addressed the topics on fish nutrition, types of feed and feed regulations. Subsequent workshops will focus on  control systems for the sale and use of therapeutic agent for aquaculture, as well as monitoring drug residues in fish". 

The Norwegian Institute of Marine Research and the Directorate of Fisheries will focus on the legislative framework for the island’s fishery resources.