Cooperation with local NGO in activities to support fishermen

Caritas Mauritius is a Mauritius-based international non-government organization (NGO) founded in 1965. It works under the following mission: "An initiative in which charity would at the same time be devotion and expertise." MOL decided to cooperate in their project that supports fishermen and their families whose activities were negatively affected by the oil spill.

MOL and NGO staff shake hands to mark approval of the support measures.

Following the Wakashio oil spill incident, the Mauritian government declared the area from Blue Bay to Trou d'Eau Douce as a restricted zone, and completely banned access to the sea and fishing activities. Caritas Mauritius' activities in response to this situation initially focused on emergency relief service. Then, based on an in-depth survey to identify the impact and the needs of people in the affected areas, their activities grew into a laudable and innovative project that encompassed occupational training and housing assistance for the socially vulnerable, to provide short-term support for fishermen and their immediate families who were affected by the incident.
MOL asked Dr. Naoki Tojo (*), a fisheries expert, to conduct a survey on how to best support fisheries sector in Mauritius and determine the effectiveness of the Caritas Mauritius' project for fishermen in Trou d'Eau Douce. Based on careful verification by Dr. Tojo's survey, MOL agreed to support this initiative and decided to contribute to the implementation of the project. The project will provide fishermen with new equipment and training programs on alternative ways to earn a living, such as backyard gardening, farming, and breeding chickens.

(*)As of February 2021, Dr. Naoki Tojo is an assistant professor at Hokkaido University Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences.

Commemorative shot after exchange of opinions between Dr. Tojo and fishermen in Trou d’Eau Douce

Communication and interaction with local fishermen helped us learn how the community was responding to MOL's activities, so we will seek additional ways to provide practical support for these fishermen. We have come up with ideas such as providing advanced training in fishing outside of the lagoon or enhancement of the value chain to preserve the quality and distribution of their catch. Through cooperation with Caritas Mauritius, MOL continues to provide more useful support for fishermen in Mauritius.