World Fisheries day is celebrated every year on 21 November throughout the world by fishing communities.

World Fisheries Day was established by the World Fisheries Forum (WWF) as an opportunity for reflection on our ever-increasing knowledge of the state of the oceans, fish stocks, fishers and coastal communities. Every November 21st, fisherfolk communities worldwide celebrate with rallies, workshops, public meetings, cultural programs, exhibitions, music shows and demonstrations to highlight the importance of maintaining the world’s fisheries.

Protein from fish, crustaceans and molluscs accounts for around 15% of the animal protein intake of the human population. Global warming, pollution and the loss of essential fish habitats have led to a decline of more than one third of global fish stocks. Measures around the world are being taken into consideration as to prevent overfishing.

Fishing in Mauritius and Rodrigues

The fishing sector generates more than 40,000 direct and indirect jobs. The fishing sector is an important pillar of the Mauritian economy. It produces about twenty six billion rupees annually and helps fishermen in subsidising their needs. In order to alleviate the financial burden on fishermen, the Ministry of Fisheries offers new assistance for the purchase of new traps. On the occasion of International Fishermen’s Day, the Fisherman Welfare Fund awards five postgraduate scholarships to the children of fishermen.

Rodrigues has paid tribute to fishermen missing at sea. There was a wreath-laying ceremony at Port South East. An activity was organised jointly by the Fisheries Commission and the Fishermen’s Association of Rodrigues Island.

Measures to protect overfishing

The Fisheries and Marine Resources Act has been amended to make provision for the octopus fishing closure in Mauritius from August to  October, said the Minister of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, Shipping and Outer Islands, Mr Premdut Koonjoo.
This measure aims to increase the number of juveniles which will grow into adults, thus increase the population of octopus, he said, adding that the two-months closure will promote the sustainable management of the fishery resources. It will also allow the female population to reproduce and at the re-opening of the fishing season, the fishermen will have a better catch, with octopus weighing around 1 to 1,5 kg.