'Canotte' Scheme: Fifteen beneficiaries receive cheques for the purchase of 'canottes'Download logo
Fifteen beneficiaries under the ‘Canotte Scheme’ received, this morning, their cheques for the purchase of ‘canottes’ during a handing-over ceremony held at the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping in the presence of Minister Sudheer Maudhoo. In this context, the Ministry has transferred some Rs 3,8 million to the Development Bank of Mauritius (DBM).
Under the ‘Canotte’ Scheme, which is jointly implemented with the DBM, financial assistance is provided to the fishermen community to enable them to purchase better equipped boats, namely ‘canottes,’ to be used as a tool to enhance their livelihood and to encourage fishermen to fish in the off-lagoon. The ‘Canotte’ Scheme is being implemented under the Fisheries Sectoral Programme of the Fisheries Partnership Agreement between the European Union and the Government of Mauritius.
‘Canottes’ are better equipped boats designed for fishing in the outer lagoon. Under the scheme, a registered fisherman is eligible to a grant representing 50% of the cost of a ‘canotte’ and engine up to a maximum of Rs 200,000. The fisherman can finance the other 50% on his own or contract a loan of Rs 200,000 from the DBM.
The funds are disbursed directly to the boat builder, who has to be listed at the Ministry. The ‘canotte’ should be a new fibre glass reinforced plastic vessel between seven metre and 12 m in length, equipped with either an inboard or outboard engine of 15 Horsepower and above. The boat should be registered with the Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping.
In his address, Minister Maudhoo recalled that since the implementation of the ‘Canotte’ Scheme in 2015, some Rs 15,5 million have been disbursed as at date. Furthermore, the DBM has implemented several schemes for fishermen such as the Special Support Scheme where they can borrow up to Rs 1 million at 0,5% interest, he added. He thus appealed to the fishermen community to take advantage of the different schemes put at their disposal.
The Minister underlined that Government recognises the contribution of fishermen in the economic development of the country. To that end, he stated that a series of measures and facilities have been put in place under the Sectoral Programme to the European Union-Mauritius Fisheries Protocol. They include:
- Provision of Rs 4 million to reduce fishing pressure in the lagoon by equipping fishermen to fish off-lagoon
- Rs 6 million for refurbishment of jetties and provision of solar lights
- Rehabilitation works of winches and slip away at Case Noyale and Grand Gaube to the tune of Rs 1 million
- Provision of shrimp nets with essential equipment
- Provision of Rs 2 million for ice-making plant and water tanks set up at Trou Fanfaron port for semi-industrial fishery
Furthermore, Minister Maudhoo underlined that in a bid to ensure the safety and security of fishermen at sea, some Rs 3 million will be disbursed for the purchase of safety equipment such as waterproof LED strobe and basic essential kit comprising whistle, torch LED, bailer scoop, marine rope and float, mirror, compass and waterproof chamber for keys. Fishermen will also benefit from communication equipment, he added.
Some Rs 4 million will be injected for the purchase of navigational aids in ten main natural passes in the coral reefs of Mauritius. Each pass needs between two and six buoys at the cost of Rs 200,000 each, indicated the Minister.
Speaking about scholarship stipend to children of fishermen provided by the Fishermen Welfare Fund, he underlined that it will be increased by 50% adding that a provision of Rs 1 million has been made to that end.
Minister Maudhoo underlined that Government is also negotiating with hotels so that they buy the fish caught by the local fishermen instead of imported fish. Moreover, he said that an additional 500 fishermen cards will soon be issued which will allow for more people to join this profession. He also recalled that Rs 52,500 will be provided to a fisherman if he is unable to work at the age of 65 years.
He underlined that seasonal cards for fishermen who catch shrimps will also be given and appealed to women to adopt this profession since it is very promising. He finally appealed to the fishermen community to report any acts of illegal fishing to the National Coast Guard and the Fisheries Protection Service.Distributed by APO Group on behalf of Republic of Mauritius.