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The Fisheries Sector Of Mauritius Economics Essay


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This proposal will support the development of the dissertation in an attempt to evaluate the factors affecting the Mauritian tuna industry, forecast export and formulate future strategy to ensure its sustainability in line with the vision of the government to make the fisheries sector an economic pillar with due regard to sustainability of aquatic resources and social development. In the wake of assessment of the socio-economic and other external factors impacting on the tuna industry, the dissertation will align itself within the government mission to provide an enabling environment for the promotion of the sustainable development of the fisheries sector and to ensure continued economic growth and social development within the framework of good governance. As a result, it will contribute to sustainable development and food security within the context of the realisation of the project "Mauritius ile durable"


2.1 Geography

Mauritius is the central member of the Mascarene group of islands which involve Mauritius, Rodrigues and Reunion and it is situated at Latitude 20Ëš South and Longitude 58 Ëš East, which is about 800 km from the south-east of Madagascar. They are all volcanic islands which are surrounded by coral reefs with average temperature between 22 Ëš C and 28 ËšC. The islands are often faced with cyclonic weather which occurs almost annually between the months of December and April. The productivity of the oceanic water around Mauritius is estimated to be 5 TC/km2/ year, which is low compared to 200-300 TC/km2/year for the waters surrounding the Seychelles Groups.

2.2 The Fisheries Sector of Mauritius

Mauritius is a maritime state with an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of about 1.9 million km2. In 1978, Mauritius, a signatory member of the third Convention on the Laws of the Sea proclaimed its 200 nautical EEZ and has the potential to develop the marine resources both for employment and economic benefits for those engaged in the fishing sector. The islands that comprise the Republic of Mauritius are widely dispersed and therefore the EEZ covers a larger area of sea relative to the land area.

Figure 1: Exclusive Economic Zone

Source: Albion Fisheries Research Centre

In December 2008, the Republic of Mauritius and the Republic of Seychelles, both parties to the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS), made a Joint Submission to the United Nations Commission on the limits of the Continental Shelf (CLCS) beyond their respective 200 nautical miles Exclusive Economic Zones in the region of the Mascarene Plateau. The CLCS appointed a sub commission that examined the Joint Submission in 2009. Following the extensive deliberations, the CLCS finally made its recommendation in March 2011 which resulted in Mauritius and Seychelles being jointly conferred the jurisdiction upon the joint area of ECS of 396,000 km2.

Source: Mauritius Oceanography Institute

The Mauritian Economy is based on exportation of Sugar, Textile, Tourism and Fisheries. The fishery sector of Mauritius plays an important role in the national economy. Fishery constitutes an important source of protein for the population of the country contributing to nutrition, food security and foreign exchange earnings as well as supporting poverty alleviation. It comprises the banks fishery, artisanal fishery, fish aggregating devices (FAD) fishery, tuna fishery, sports fishery and aquaculture.

Artisanal fishery

The term artisanal fisheries typically refers to traditional fisheries that involve households (as opposed to companies) which use relatively small amounts of capital and small fishing craft, making short trips and staying close to shore with the catch intended mainly for local consumption (Charles,2001 ; FAO 2004a).

Banks fishery

The banks (St Brandon, Nazareth, Saya de Malha and Chagos) found around 250 to 1200 nautical miles to the north of Mauritius are exploited by Mauritian fishing vessels producing frozen fish. The Banks fishery is the traditional supplier of chilled and frozen fish on the local market. The banks are exploited by refrigerated mother vessels which carry around 20 small dories. Fishing method used is hand line.


Aquaculture is considered in all forecasts as the only reliable sustainable additional source of supply. Aquaculture is farming of fish, shellfish and aquatic plants in fresh or salt water.

Sports and Aquarium fishery

The Sport Fishery involves local fishermen and mostly Tourists. It is an important attraction in Mauritius.

The fisheries sector of Mauritius provides employment to around 13,000 people in fishing, fish processing, marketing and ancillary activities linked to the fishing industry. Although the contribution of fisheries to Mauritian GDP in 2010 was 1.3%, its share of national exports was 14.7%. Exports of fish and fish products amounted to Rs 8.1 billion (US $270 million). Demand for fish and fish products has constantly increased leading to more fish consumption which is evidenced by the per capita consumption standing presently at 21.7 Kg. Ninety percent of our fish and fish products export constitute of tuna. Mauritius is currently a major supplier of canned tuna to the EU market. For the past three years, the seafood industry has been expanding rapidly, with investments in various activities ranging from fishing to seafood processing and logistics services.

2.3 Overview of the Tuna Industry of Mauritius

The tuna fishery is the most important industrial fishery in Mauritius. Before 1979, tuna was fished mainly with longlines and pole-and-line. Longlining involves the use of line with baited hooks as fishing gears. It is made up of baskets which consist of a main horizontal line about 250 to 800 m long with 4 to 15 branch-lines each with a wire leader and a hook. The longline fishery started in 1970, but stopped operations soon after. Two small longliners started again in 1980, but, their catch was too low and had to stop operations. By 1995, there was only one longliner from Mauritius. In 2004, three foreign owned vessels came to operate in the Mauritian water in longline fishery. Their fishing area was spread widely in the Western Indian Ocean. In 2007, the number of licenses provided to longliners increased to 141, mostly from Taiwan, South Korea, Japan, Indonesia, Belize and Malaysia. In that year, a total of 15580 tonnes of tuna and related species were transhipped by these longliners of which 4268 tonnes were caught in the Mauritian EEZ.

The purse seine tuna started to operate in 1979 with the first Mauritian purse seiner 'Lady Sushil'. Tuna purse seining involves setting a large wall of net, approximately one mile in length to encircle tuna schools and entrap them. It was operated as a joint venture involving Mauritius Tuna Fishing and Canning Enterprise and two Japanese companies. From then, it made pioneering fishery in the northern sector of the South West Indian Ocean and was one of the vessels to confirm the successful operation of purse seiner in the area. Eight years later, it was joined by a second vessel 'Lady Sushil II'. A third purse seiner 'Cirné' started operation in 1991. Until 1997, they were operating for the local canning factory. As the canning was not able to conform to the EU regulations concerning safety measures, there was a need for a new factory. Thus, to overcome financial problems and due to changes in the administration of the factory, the vessels were sold off to Princes Tuna Ltd, a UK company and the factories now rely on import of raw materials to meet its requirements. The Princes Tuna Ltd started its operation in 2000. The factory is operated under a British-Mauritian joint venture, Princes Ltd (UK) and Ireland Blyth Ltd (Mauritian company). This new factory satisfies all the norms and regulations of the EU for their exports. A second processing plant, 'Thon des Mascareignes' started its operation in 2005 and is a subsidiary of the IBL Group. This factory produces tuna loins which are exported both to European and non-European markets.

Tuna transhipment is a valuable related activity since several decades. An artisanal tuna fishery has also developed around FADs placed around Mauritius. The economic contribution of tuna and tuna like species stands at €250 million and there is the potential for such contribution to be further increased. The fishing methods adopted for tuna fishery in Mauritius include purse seine, longline and FADs. Tuna is exported to our main market which is the EU. Mauritius benefits from several agreements such as Mauritius EU Fishing Agreement, Fishing Agreement with the Federation of Japan Tuna Fisheries Cooperative Association, Fishing Agreement with Seychelles and a Memorandum of Understanding with Mozambique. These agreements help Mauritius to enjoy preferential market access.

In Mauritius, the export of tuna constitutes 90 % of total export value of fish and fish products. However, there are factors affecting it such as local catch, foreign catch, inflation rate, number of licences, transhipment, employment, foreign exchange, agreements, market price and imports. As a result, the Government has to direct more effort in the importation of fish and fish products to meet the demand of the population.

2.4 Problems and challenges of the Industry

Though the tuna fishing industry contributes significantly in the economic development, it is recognised that inherent weaknesses of the local fishing companies, coupled with emerging external factors hamper investment for expansion of the sector. Problems such as reduction in the availability of raw materials, food security, increasing competition and rise in operating costs may undermine the sustainability of the industry. In addition, there is indication that preferential access to the EU market is not a guarantee for the long-term and the EEZ extension represent real challenges which will require the government to devise new strategies to make the tuna industry more sustainable and a real pillar of the economy.

2.5 Organisational Reasons

2.5.1 Stakeholders and Target Beneficiaries

The immediate beneficiaries of the dissertation will be the Ministry of Fisheries and the Tuna Fishing and Processing Companies. The dissertation will help fisheries administrators and stakeholders to better understand the status of the tuna industry, evaluate the factors affecting its sustainability over the long term so as to increase exports and ensure a more significant and on-going contribution to the Mauritian economy. The dissertation will also provide guidance in the formulation of long term fisheries strategies with respect to the tuna industry and support managers of the companies in decision making towards enhancing development and profitability of their enterprises.

The secondary beneficiaries include amongst others, the fishermen community, workers of tuna processing companies, retailers in food products and the consumers.

Implementation of the recommendations of the dissertation will ensure continued employment for workers of the tuna industry, a sustainable exploitation of the tuna resources taking into consideration the future generation and a guaranteed supply of tuna for the local and international markets.

2.5.2 Perceived problems

The dissertation will require the collection and analysis of secondary data relevant to the tuna industry. These data and any other additional information are available at the Ministry of Fisheries, Mauritius Statistics Bureau, the Tuna Fishing Processing Companies, the Mauritius Export Association, Association of Tuna Fishermen, The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organisation and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. In addition, extensive research would have to be undertaken through the internet to obtain literature on the works of key writers and their ideas. Relevant journals and magazines from International Organisations such as the EU, FAO and the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) would have to be acquired to obtain up to date information on policies and agreements on tuna development.

Successful implementation of the dissertation will depend on the availability of data necessary to conduct the research and the ability to convince the stakeholders to participate in discussions and provide relevant information on the subject. Arrangement of meetings with the relevant officials of the Ministries and Managers of the Fishing Companies may entail delays in the process of data collection. In addition, holding of meetings with the fishermen community may be difficult to arrange in view of the nature of their works and time availability. Hence, resorting to individual contact may have to be opted

In addition, since not much academic research have been undertaken in this field being given that the tuna industry is an emerging one within the Mauritian sea-food hub, documentation may be limited and dispersed.


The main aims and objectives of the dissertation are:

To take stock of the status of the tuna industry in Mauritius and its contribution in the economy

This includes collecting data on the level of output, import content, export, employment and contribution to GDP.

To determine and analyse factors impacting on export of tuna

In this context, different factors influencing the export of tuna will be identified and analysed.

To assess the impact of these factors

The level of impact of the different factors will be determined through a regression model.

Investigate the sustainability of Mauritian tuna industry

This means finding the trend in tuna production and exports under the influence of the different factors and determine any problem of sustainability.

Forecast exports for 2012

Given actual conditions and using exponential smoothing, the export forecast for 2012 will be made.

To propose a strategic plan for the sustainable development of the tuna industry for the next ten years

Based on findings, a detailed strategic plan consisting of management measures will be proposed so as to address the various problems which can threaten the sustainability of the industry.


The dissertation will deal with the tuna industry in Mauritius and the socio- economic factors impacting on its sustainability. For this purpose, similar studies in this particular field will have to be identified through research works to serve as reference for the present dissertation. Subsequently, a critical review of the literatures will be undertaken in order to identify relevant information pertinent to the requirement of the dissertation and also their limitations.

Through the Internet, a series of literatures concerning tuna has been identified. However, a few of them relevant to the subject of the dissertation have been selected for reference.

Kuldilok (2009) conducted a study on the tuna fishing industry in Thailand to understand if Thailand has been able to achieve sustainability in its tuna fisheries with due consideration the economic, social and environmental aspects. Firstly, the research was undertaken to forecast Thai tuna exports for the five years 2007-2011 using the ARIMA model. Population growth and income were identified as the factors that affect demand. From the forecasting results, it was noted that as tuna stocks are over fished around the world, the Thai tuna industry is expected to face a fall in its exports which implies a less productive processing sector.

The livelihoods of workers were also considered as the factors that affect the sustainability of the tuna industry. Economic downturn and natural influences were found to be the factors which affected the Thai tuna industry and led to variability in the income of the workers.

The study also found that Thailand has a comparative advantage in the production and export of fisheries products worldwide. It is noted that this advantage depends on low labour costs which is not in line with economic growth in the Thai economy. Moreover, changes in the rules of origin of the EU were also factors that led to the Thai economy being less competitive. In addition, though supply is limited demand for tuna worldwide keep on growing. This may in turn lead to a rise in the price of tuna and also in the costs of raw materials such as fuel and other inputs. This found to be a constraint to the sustainability and the growth of the tuna industry. As a result, the best solution was to develop the tuna aquaculture which is endowed with vast marine resources. As shown from the analysis, the lower demand forecasts, inadequate raw material, and changes in the EU rules and regulations are the factors that act as impediment to achieve economic, social and environmental sustainability and hinder the growth of the Thailand tuna industry. It was finally noted that proper management measures can help in the development of the tuna industry though it will not achieve the high growth as before.

After perusal of the document, it was found that materials in the study could be referred to as support to the present dissertation. However, it is noted that the study was carried out in 2009 and dealt with data of previous years when the impact of the EURO crisis was not fully felt.

Attempt has been made in the journal of 'Managing fishing capacity in tuna regional fisheries management organisations (RFMOs): Development and state of the art' to review and analyse both the historical development of fishing capacity management in tuna RFMOs and their state of the art practices. Despite the fact, that this far, management measures have not yielded the expected results for capacity reduction, they provide a good basis for improved management of capacity at regional and global levels. Overcapacity is a major threat to the sustainability of tuna resources. Diverse actions are being carried out by tuna RFMOs to counteract this problem.

The author has found that according to research made on managing capacity in RFMO's, overcapacity is a persisting problem that demand for effective management measures to be stabilised. Overcapacity in fisheries emerged as a result to a rise in overfishing. It was underlined that overfishing presents serious challenges and is considered to be the major threat to the health of the marine environment and an obstacle towards the achievement of sustainability in the fisheries sector. In order to solve the overcapacity problem, an International Plan of Action for the Management of Fishing Capacity (IPOA-Capacity) was set up in 1999. This plan of action provided countries and regional bodies with the opportunity to assess capacity levels in fishing and adopt appropriate measures. Though the IPOA capacity has been well recognised, full execution of this plan of action is yet to be attained. It is recognised that open access is amongst the drivers of overcapacity. Worldwide fishery is of immense importance and Regional Fisheries Management Organizations (RFMOs) are key players in their management. RFMOs are engaged in the management of tuna stocks, which are the largest and commercially the most important of all fisheries and which are now facing excessive capacity. The tuna industry contributes significantly to the economy of various countries. As a result, implementation of management and conversation were put in force by the RFMOs and other initiatives to overcome the problem and to ensure its sustainability. Different RFMOs have been set up such Inter American Tropical Tuna Commission (IATTC), International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna (ICCAT), Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and Western and Central Pacific Commission (WCPFC) to address the capacity problem and provide solutions to reduce capacity levels in tuna fisheries. Since it is not possible to prevent access to high seas and prevent IUU activities, it is expected that capacity will keep on rising. IUU fishing is a major threat to the long-term sustainability of the world's oceans and is pressing problem that is difficult to counteract. IUU fishing depletes fish stocks, destroys marine habitats and distorts competition particularly in developing countries. The ineffectiveness of management measures open opportunities for foreign illegal vessels to exploit endangered and threatened species of fish which further increase the capacity problem. However, investment in innovative fishing gear can help to deter this problem. Participatory platform to manage tuna stocks have been put in force by RFMOs to suggest measures to solve the capacity problem. Measures previously implemented are further discussed so as to be more effective. Creation of a global vessel register, port state measures and trade sanctions may complement current practices to discourage the building of capacity not affiliated to specific RFMOs.

The study has highlighted various problems pertinent to managing measures, threats to long term sustainability, illegal fishing and the effort of RFMO's to address the issue of fishing capacity. Observations made and measures proposed may be used as reference. However, the study has not dealt with an analysis of socio-economic factors which will be an important requirement for the dissertation. Given that Mauritius is endowed with a very large EEZ, it is difficult to enforce surveillance effectively. Illegal fishing still persists and the piracy problem has emerged. Similarly, in the lagoon and off lagoon, illegal fishing has not been eliminated completely. At the same time, the possibility of causing damage to the marine environment cannot be ruled out.

Therefore, the measures mentioned above can be used to solve this problem.

The fish policy paper prepared by the FAO in 2004 based on available data noted that, 75% of fisheries have already been exhausted or been overfished. According to Delgado et al. (2003), since the 1973's, the consumption of fish keeps on rising and in order to meet the rising demand, production has also increased at the same time. The consumption and production of fish are greater in developing countries than in developed countries. Fishery products are considered to be the most highly traded on the international market (FAO, 2004a). It was noted by Schorr (2004) that about a billion people in the world depend on fish for their livelihood. The fisheries sector has always been considered to be an important sector of many economies. It contributes significantly to the economy in terms of food security, employment and economic benefits especially to those involved in this activity. Bilateral Fisheries Agreements between the EU and third countries which existed since long as the Common Fisheries Policy gives the opportunity for the EU fleet to access resources which its partners cannot or do not want to exploit. However, though The Bilateral Agreements facilitate access to fisheries resources, it has also led to over exploitation of fisheries resources in developing countries thereby reducing the level of competitiveness. It is further noted that increasing tariffs, supply side constraints and different rules of origin are amongst the factors that may hinder growth and development in the developing countries. In addition, subsidies have led to market imperfections, reduction in competitiveness and may lead to economic instability. Moreover, increased international trade may lead to environmental problems and presents challenges towards the achievement of sustainability. In order to achieve sustainability, livelihoods and environmental aspects need to be considered. However, the ability to obtain foreign earnings from trade could be a way for countries to achieve sustainability. As a result, there is a need for efficient use of the fishery and a healthy marine environment in order to maintain productivity and to ensure that it continues to contribute effectively to the socio-economic development countries. The fish and fisheries market has been witnessed a tremendous increase worldwide. Overfishing is considered to be the main barrier that prevents the fishing industry from achieving long term sustainability. Almost all fishing grounds in the world and fishery resources are adversely affected by overfishing (FAO, 2004a; Pauly et al., 2002; Stone, 1997). With three-quarters of fish resources already under threat, the importance of fish and fishery as a source of socio-economic development worldwide is questionable. Different management and conservation measures have been implemented to address the problem of sustainability. Moreover, RFMOs have also been set up to regulate capacity measures towards the achievement of sustainability. However, though several actions have been taken to counteract the problem of sustainability, the problem of overcapacity is still persisting and has not been resolved yet.

The FAO has in the paper highlighted the overexploitation of fisheries resources in the world. Reference is made to the growing demand in fish consumption which has entailed an unsustainable exploitation of the resources to increase supply and in so doing has underestimated the benefits of the ecosystem supporting marine life. In order to mitigate impacts of such activities, the attention of the RFMOs has been drawn to direct effort in the setting up of appropriate legislations to control and monitor the exploitation of the resources.

It is recognised that there is growing concern on the conservation and preservation of the fisheries resources. However, the paper has focused on fisheries in general, without highlighting particular attention to factors affecting the tuna industry. It is therefore felt that this paper will have limited contribution to the dissertation.

This paper of 'Ocean Tuna Fisheries, East Asian Rivalries, and International Regulation' has been prepared in the context of the Japanese policies and the overcapacity/IUU fishing conundrum. Despite all efforts made both on a national and international stage, piracy continues to be a persistent problem. Moreover, IUU fishing keeps on rising affecting both territorial and international waters. IUU fishing represents a major threat to the long-term sustainability of the world's oceans and is pressing problem that is difficult to counteract. IUU fishing depletes fish stocks, destroys marine habitats, distorts competition particularly in developing countries and also affects the socio economic development of many people. It is widely recognised that fish stocks are under severe pressure and is a highly contested issue internationally. This persistent problem arose as a result of innovative fishing techniques which were harmful to the marine environment, increase in fishing fleets and continuous rise in the global demand for fish and fishery products. As estimated by the FAO (2004), half the fish stocks were already at full exploitation levels; seventeen percent of the fish stocks were overexploited; seven percent were actually depleted. It has been widely recognised that tuna stocks worldwide are at risk, especially in the Pacific regions. It should however be noted that all tuna stocks have not been depleted yet. Since the implementation of the U.N. Law of the Sea Convention ("UNCLOS") in 1982, many actions have been taken together with other fishing agreements to contribute to the sustainability of fisheries. However, since the UNCLOS contains no provision, did not comprise of guidelines to control the exploitation of the marine environment and a scheme to ensure the conservation of migratory species, the UNCLOS agreement has been proved to be a failure. In order to deal with the persistent problem which the UNCLOS could not, RFMOs have been established in every ocean to adopt management and conservation measures to protect migratory species in order to ensure its sustainability. The FAO adopted the Code of Conduct to reduce overexploitation of fish and prevent illegal fishing. Further, International Plans of Action ("IPOAs") was adopted to resolve overcapacity in fishing and IUU fishing. In view with the IPOA policy and to achieve sustainability, Japan has significantly reduced its capacity of fishing fleet. Moreover, Japan has also taken into consideration the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tuna ("ICCAT"), and in the Western and Central Pacific under the WCPFC to deal with IUU issues and better contribute to the conservation of marine resources. However, though Japan has made much effort to reduce its fleet capacity, larger international efforts are required ensure sustainability. Efforts are also needed by other nations so as to achieve sustainability.

This paper discusses the sustainability of the world oceans under the impact of major threats of IUU fishing and the emerging problem of piracy. It underlines the depletion of the world tuna stock and highlights the actions of RFMO's to adopt management and conservation measures of migratory fish species which were not taken into account under the UNCLOS agreement. In addition, mention is made on the FAO Code of Conduct for responsible fisheries to reduce over-exploitation of fish and the International Plans of Action to resolve over capacity in fishing.

Issues discussed in the paper may be of relevance to the dissertation with regards to effort directed for the preservation and conservation measures taken to ensure continuous use of the resources to satisfy the need for the future generation. The paper has, however, not discussed other external factors such as climate change, the rising price of fuel and the impact of the EURO crisis. Mauritius, being located in the region of piracy operation may be affected by instability in the supply of raw materials for its industry and hence putting at stake the sustainability. It is observed that in the paper, the problem has only been referred to without proposing concrete actions for its elimination.

According to the paper of 'EU CFP Reform: Towards Sustainable EU-ACP Fisheries Relations' it is found the fisheries sector is an important sector for Coastal ACP countries. The EU imports constitute of more than 60% with 10% of EU fish imports coming from ACP countries. In order to contribute towards sustainable fisheries, the EU needs to take into consideration factors such as access to resources, access to markets and investments which are important for the EU-ACP fisheries relations. In addition, appropriate framework should be established so that all aspects of fishing relations with developing countries contribute to sustainable fisheries. Thus, the challenge of achieving economic, environmental and social sustainability in fisheries requires the establishment of Sustainable fisheries development which are consistent with FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible fisheries. Thus, to benefit from successful fisheries, participative and transparent dialogue regarding the measures the EU should be taken to make developing countries achieve sustainable fisheries and also in terms of transparency and participation of all stakeholders. Good governance agreements between the EU and the coastal countries are also needed. The good governance agreement should also include severe laws regarding access and use of appropriate gears for fishing.

Tuna agreements should be in line with RFMO's which manage tuna and tuna like species and to enable all countries to have equal access to tuna resources. It is noted that new fishing players can have access to high seas, and overcapacity can be reduced only if current fishing players giving up part of their share and reduce the capacity of their fishing fleets. Measures to place limit on catch and criteria for access, if not addressed, may undermine attempts to achieve environmental and social sustainability. In order to make developing countries become part of RFMO's and make RFMO more efficient towards the achievement of sustainability, the EU should make use of various tools such as EPAs, FPAs, Development cooperation which are available to them.

The fisheries sector contributes significantly to the national economy in terms of food security, employment and poverty reduction of many developing countries. Thus, the EU needs to invest in developing countries fisheries in order to maintain its contribution to socio economic development. In addition, improvement in management of marine resources and to increase trade in fish also require significant investment.

The EU had in the past invested in fishing capacity and in tuna processing facilities. However, these investments have proved to be a failure as developing countries have not been able to achieve the expected benefits. Moreover, overexploitation had further increased along with an increase in competition.

There has also been investment in the tuna sectors in many developing countries. The main objective of this was to generate employment and to improve the infrastructure. Lack of information, for example, may lead to illegal fishing. Improvement in transparency has not been achieved yet. Efforts are required from different stakeholders and also government so as to improve transparency both in the EU and ACP countries

The paper highlights the importance of the contribution in terms of export of tuna of the ACP countries to the EU and underlines the necessity of the EU to consider factors such as access to resources, access to markets and investments which are important for the EU-ACP fisheries relations. Reference was made on good governance agreements between the EU and the coastal countries which should include severe laws regarding access and use of appropriate gears for fishing.

The paper also discusses tools such as EPAs, FPAs and development cooperation in relation to the role of RFMO's for being more efficient towards the achievement of sustainability. In addition, attention is drawn to investment by the EU in developing countries to maintain its contribution to socio economic development. Further improvement in management of marine resources and to increase trade in fish also require significant investment.

Issues raised in the paper are in line with the subject of the dissertation being given that Mauritius is a member of the ACP countries and most of its tuna products are exported to the EU. Mauritius has longstanding trade relationships with several economic partners including the EU, US and Japan. Under specific trade agreements, it benefits from preferential market access for its seafood products. It has also secured preferential access to many markets including EU through the EPA, with the US under the AGOA, with Eastern and Southern Africa through the COMESA and SADC. Thus, this study could provide relevant information for the dissertation.

According to this study made on 'International Trade, Eco-labelling, and Sustainable Fisheries - recent issues, concepts and practices' it was found that certification was very important. Certification of where, when and how fish are caught is emerging as an important fisheries management tool. It is further noted that safety and quality of food are important factors that affect consumption. Due to concerns for health and safety, food labelling is seen as subject of great interest in different food sectors including seafood. Moreover, certification is a useful tool to solve the IUU problem. Though eco-labelling is not very common in the fisheries sector, it has evolved as a new trend and has gained high importance in many European and US markets. The implementation of the Marine Stewardship Council in 1996 brought about a rise in eco-labelling in fisheries. The MSC shows the importance of NGO's in the management of fisheries with the different members involved in production cycle such as processors, retailers, wholesalers and consumers. Products labelling give an idea of where the product comes from and its different contents. According to Goodlund (2002), using labels to include information on the type of environment in which the good is produced has now emerged as new trend. It can be based on the methods of production used to produce the product or its place where it is manufactured. The labels also include information about the product, expiry dates, ingredients, manufacturer details and regulations to oversee the labels placed on juice. According to Vitalis (2002), eco-labelling refers to eco-labelling refers to the granting of product labels to provide information to consumers impact of a product on the environment. Eco-labels aim to influence consumers towards the consumption of sustainable fisheries products. However, in spite of the growth of eco-labelling, it has become a highly contested issue. The challenge to achieve environmentally and social policy objectives with labelling is questionable. Moreover, labelling should abide by the rules of the WTO. The need for eco-labels to be consistent with the rules of international trade is very important in case of widely traded commodities such as fish and fish products. Eco-labelling is a way to reduce the financial incentives for illegal fishing by preventing access to markets. Although eco-labelling is increasing in the fisheries sector, few benefits have been derived to the fisheries management. From a study undertaken by Teisl et al. in 2002, it was noted that labelling initiative in the dolphin friendly' canned tuna influenced the consumption pattern and has also led to an increase in the market share of canned tuna. Moreover, the MSC is providing incentives to make fishing industries more involved in the eco-labelling. The MSC is an initiative to ensure that performance of fisheries around the world is sustainable. The objective is to ensure the long-term viability of fish stocks. The aim of the MSC is to inform consumers whether the products come from sustainable fisheries sources through its labels.

The authors of this paper have reviewed the importance of certification and eco-labeling in the fisheries sector highlighting the role of the 'third party certification as promoted by the Marine Stewardship Council. In addition, attention has been drawn on the certification as being an important tool in dealing with illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fishing and indicating as to whether the harvesting and management have been carried out in a sustainable manner. Further, the paper makes reference to the work of the MSC reflecting the increasing importance of NGOs as stakeholders in fisheries management in the entire production cycle: engaging with fishers, processors, wholesalers, retailers and consumers.

It is recognized that the certification and eco-labeling issues are not well developed in the Mauritian tuna industry. This paper will provide guidance to the Mauritian Authorities to pay particular attention to the issues and promote its development to respond to exigencies of the EU which is the main export market.

A study was made on 'Management of Tunas in the Indian Ocean; a study of Kenya's implementation of international and regional conservation and management measures for tuna'. It has been noted that tuna are the largest and commercially the most important of all fisheries found in the EEZ. The tuna industry contributes significantly to the economy of various countries. It is one of the major products in seafood international trade. They are in growing demand throughout the world market. The continuous rise in global demand worldwide has led to an increase in fishing capacity. This increase in capacity has in turn resulted in overexploitation and even to depletion of tuna stocks. These problems have emerged as impediment to achieve sustainability of tuna resources. In order to ensure supply of tuna in the future and maintain sustainability of tuna resources, effective management and conservation measures are needed. It is found that tuna plays a significant role in the economy of Pacific islands as a source of nutrition, revenue and welfare. Like other resources, tuna resources also have to abide by the rules of international law. Having a large EEZ, Kenya has the potential to invest in the development of the tuna industry. However, lack of financial capacity and knowledge in the field has proved to be a constraint to Kenya to catch tuna. Having significant tuna resources in its EEZ made it possible for foreign vessels to enter the EEZ of Kenya. However, since Kenya was unable to control fishing activities in its EEZ led to a rise in illegal fishing. Kenya therefore had to use appropriate measures to monitor fishing activities. However, key findings showed that Fisheries Act did not make any provision for the development of strategies to manage tuna resources. It was further noted that regulatory and laws concerning catch limits and efficient management of tuna resources were not effective. Measures adopted by Kenya to monitor activity were not in line with the rules of IOTC. The management regime in Kenya failed to address the capacity problem which resulted in overexploitation of tuna stock. This lack of legislations made it difficult for Kenya to achieve sustainability in its tuna resources. Moreover, data management system operating in Kenya was not efficient as the data obtained regarding the tuna fisheries were inaccurate and of poor quality. These inefficiencies made it difficult to monitor tuna catches from Kenya. Measures adopted by Kenya regarding the data system were not consistent with the regulations of the international law. Further, it was highlighted that the fisheries sector in Kenya were not given enough priority. These discrepancies proved to be a failure to make efficient use of tuna resources. This in turn made it difficult to achieve sustainability of such resources. Hence, it was found that in order to effectively manage its resources and ensure the long term sustainability of the tuna resources in the future, Kenya has to abide by the necessary rules and respond to its international obligations effectively.

The paper makes reference to the increasing demand of tuna on the international market, the over fishing capacity leading to over exploitation of the resources and presents a Kenya's implementation of international and regional conservation and management measures for tuna. The ineffective management of the resources was cited as one of the drawbacks of the country to ensure sustainability. Difficulties to abide to international obligations were also a matter of concern. Though, the paper deals with general issues which affect the sustainability of the tuna resources of the country, reference can be made to the limitations in resources to implement rules and obligations effectively.

Mauritius faces some similar problems to that of Kenya. Illegal fishing still persists and the piracy problem has emerged. Despite the extensive EEZ, Mauritius is still dependent on imports of fish products to a significant extent. Further, the absence of a strategic management plan is an impediment to sustainably exploiting the fisheries and marine resources. Probably, it is not given priority consideration in the government's agenda. Hence, some of the measures mentioned to counteract the problems faced by Kenya can be used as a guide for my dissertation.

According to this study conducted on 'Recent developments in the tuna industry-stocks, fisheries, management, processing, trade and markets', it can be noted that tuna fisheries are the largest and commercially the most important of all fisheries. From the study, it was found that the majority of the tuna supply comes from the Pacific Ocean and account for about 64% of the total world catch. It is followed by the Indian Ocean which represents 25% and the Atlantic Ocean representing 11%. Stock status is under the management of RFMO's which take into consideration the biomass and MSY. It was seen that though the biomass was above or close to reference point, for some stock the mortality rate exceeded the MSY. This gives indication of overfishing. Moreover, the fisheries have gone through revolutionary mutations through progressive technological innovation in fishing gears. Recently, FADs methods were adopted and had a high impact on catches. The marketing system of the fish has also undergone much change. Different channels of distribution such as dealers, wholesalers and retailers are being used to sell the catches. This in turn affected the price of tuna. Moreover, it was found that the demand and supply of tuna have experienced a big rise throughout the world market. The main market for canned tuna was seen to be the USA, Japan and the EU. In addition, tuna factories were relocated from developed countries in order to have easier access to raw materials. This proved to be an advantage to the industry as it has led to a fall in labour and transhipment cost and has facilitated exports. With tuna being migratory species, fishing them to produce need a large capital investment. The situation has further been exacerbated by globalisation and continuous rise in demand which led to an increase in marketing and transportation costs. Fluctuations in the exchange rate also affect the tuna industry. This in turn affected the operating costs. The world tuna industry is mostly influenced by major currencies such as the Euro and the dollar. Operating costs will differ in different countries as it depends on which currency is being used and also the exchange rate. These factors therefore add further complexities to the tuna market. Management measures have been implemented by the RFMO to manage tuna stocks and solve problems such as excess capacity, IUU, by catch issues. However, it is widely acknowledged that all tuna RFMOs are finding it more and more difficult to reach consensus on management measures. Consumers nowadays are interested to know whether the food they are consuming come from sustainable sources. As such, many organisations have started to label marine products to inform the consumers about its source of origin and the environment in which the good has been produced. An International Seafood Sustainability Foundation (ISSF) was set up by tuna canning industry to work with various NGO's and the RFMO towards achieving long term sustainability.

This paper provides information on the stock status of tuna and the introduction of specific gears such as FAD to exploit the resources to meet the growing demand for tuna products world-wide. In doing so, the problem of over capacity fishing has emerged and presently the RFMO's have to struggle to reach consensus on agreed management measures to sustain the tuna stock. The aspects of marketing and relocation of tuna factories in areas of easy access to provision of raw materials have been discussed. The difference in operating costs in various countries due to the influence of the EURO and Dollar has also been highlighted. The setting up of the ISSF to deal with the labelling of marine product for providing information to consumers has also been mentioned.

The paper will be useful as reference for the dissertation in the sense that it gives pertinent information ranging from the tuna stock to management measures through the description of marketing and costs aspects.

The study made on 'Are Pacific Island States losing their rights to tuna resources?' showed that the Pacific islands is the most important tuna fishing area in the world and supplies more than half of all tunas. The tuna industry contributed marginally to the economy in the 1970's. However, it has gained high impetus by the 1980's. Tuna catching had increased a lot since then and was done on a large scale. This in turn has led to an increase in economic efficiency but at the expense of depletion in stock of tuna resources. Pacific islands were largely dominated by distant water fleets. For instance, Japan entered the island mainly to satisfy the high demand in their country. In addition, fishing was not controlled and was of free access. When the UNCLOS was put in force in the 1982's, Pacific islands were able to charge fees for accessing their seas and also developed management measures to monitor fishing in their seas. Since Pacific islands did not have enough capital, they had to grant access to distant fishing fleets. Despite having large amount of tuna resources, Pacific islands did not have the potential to tap such resources and make efficient use of it to ensure their long term economic development and is now facing depletion in their tuna stocks. The Development identified the factors leading to such change. It was found that distant-water fishing nations were using the political influence which they had compared to island states' sovereignty to protect their own fisheries rather than contributing to the economic and sustainable development of the islands' economies. Pacific islands also signed other agreements so as to protect their domestic economy. An increase in competition for tuna by distant fishing fleets allowed Pacific islands to charge higher fees, thereby increasing their revenues from tuna resources. The tuna fishing was growing rapidly but at the expense of the sustainability of the resource. A commission was also developed to tackle overfishing problems in Pacific islands. However, it did not succeed in meeting its objectives as its decision making structure and foreign fleets' interests have taken control over the Pacific island's tuna resources.

The paper directs attention mainly to the impact of distant fishing fleets operating within the Pacific areas to satisfy their increasing demand in tuna. In so doing, exploitation of the resources was carried out in such manner to increase economic efficiency at the expense of sustainability. Though, fees are being charged from foreign fishing fleets to operate in the region, the Pacific Islands have not been able to protect their domestic economy and at times being in situation of political interferences from foreign pressure.

The paper gives relevant information to islands states with inadequate capital resources to exploit by themselves their tuna resources and have to resort to foreign capacity which may take advantage of these weaknesses. The dissertation may refer to such cases to advise authorities on a precautionary approach whilst licensing foreign fleets to operate in the EEZ.

3.1 Secondary research

Besides making reference to relevant papers and studies dealing with the subject of the tuna industry, the preparation of the dissertation will not be possible in the absence of adequate data and information available from other sources. The main source of data will be available at the Ministry of Fisheries through annual reports, magazines, journals and newsletters. Information, other than those which have been documented, and provided through discussions with higher officials of the Ministry, will also be used as having weight of evidence.

Data requirement is of essence for the analytical process of the dissertation in relation to the assessment of different factors affecting the Mauritian Tuna Industry. These data covering a ten year period will include:

Time series data on the catch from local fishing vessels and licensed foreign catch of tuna - Mauritius of Fisheries

Trans-shipment of tuna -Ministry of Fisheries

Export of tuna and tuna products - Mauritius Statistics, Ministry of Industry and Commerce

Import of raw material for processing- Mauritius Statistics, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Fisheries

Import of tuna- Mauritius Statistics, Ministry of Industry and Commerce, Ministry of Fisheries

Employment in the tuna industry- Mauritius Statistics

Market price for tuna - Mauritius Statistics

Exchange rates- Mauritius Statistics

Number of fishing licenses issued - Ministry of Fisheries

GDP- Mauritius Statistics

Rate of inflation - Mauritius Statistics


The methodology is the core part of the dissertation being given that it provides an in-depth analysis conducted as well as a full discussion of the results obtained from the regression models to assess the different variables impacting on the Mauritian Tuna Industry and hence its sustainability. Recommendations will be made based on results obtained to guide beneficiaries of the project to direct effort in the establishment of action plans for implementation. A primary research and a secondary research approach will be conducted to identify required parameters, collect data and information pertinent to the subject, analyse them and assess their impact with respect to the sustainability of the industry. After having taken cognizance of the status of the tuna industry, it has been found that the most appropriate approach with regards to the primary research will be to carry out interviews and by way of questionnaires with the concerned stakeholders.

4.1 Primary research

In line with the dissertation subject for 'An evaluation of factors affecting the Mauritian tuna industry and the development of future strategy to ensure its sustainability', it is necessary to ascertain what are the factors influencing the industry and how they do so. For this purpose, the researcher will carry out primary research to unveil information on factors affecting the tuna industry and hinder its development. The proposed approach of interviews and questionnaires will be carried among different stakeholders to gather relevant data and information.

In the above context, it is proposed to interview and discuss with the high administrative officials of the Ministry of Fisheries who are directly involved with policies and strategies of the Ministry with regards to the tuna industry and tuna issues. It is known that the Ministry of Fisheries has under its responsibility a Fisheries Research Division where a staff of Scientific Officers and Technical Officers are involved in undertaking scientific studies on tuna. Arrangements will be made with these officers to have discussion and interviews with them on tuna resources and their exploitation in the region. Officers of the Monitoring, Control and Surveillance Division will also be interviewed on the management and enforcement issues.

Fishing Companies are involved in the exploitation of the tuna resources using local or foreign fleet, processing the fish catch into fish products and export mainly to the EU. It is essential to meet these stakeholders as they possess useful information on the tuna industry. Meetings will be arranged with Directors and Managers of the Companies to understand the strengths, weaknesses and challenges of the industry regarding the different factors affecting the sustainability of the industry.

The Mauritius Export Association (MEXA) groups the majority of companies involved in export of products including fish products. Promotion and marketing of fisheries products on the international market is under the responsibility of the MEXA with the support of the Ministry of Fisheries acting as a facilitator. Meetings will be held with MEXA to discuss on issues and constraints being faced for the export of fish and fish products.

The Board of Investment (BOI) is the national Investment Promotion Agency of the Republic of Mauritius falling under the aegis of the Ministry of Finance and Economic Development. As Mauritius opens to the world, transforming itself into a globally competitive business platform, BOI has put at the disposal of the international business community a personalised range of services to attract international investments and talents to the country. With strong industry expertise and international exposures, the BOI is well-equipped to provide invaluable guidance for successful business launches and investment ventures in Mauritius including the tuna industry.

It is therefore essential to discuss with the Director of the BOI and to be guided on future avenues for the development of the tuna industry.

Small and Medium Enterprises are mostly involved in the processing of fish products for the local market. However, opportunities do exist for export to the regional countries as well as the EU. Contacts with the different Managers will be established to be apprised of their difficulties and future challenges for their growth and development.

A section of the fishermen community is specialised in the fishing of tuna and tuna like species around Fish Aggregating Devices (FAD). This production is mainly focused for the local market. It is proposed to distribute questionnaires to associations of such fishermen to obtain information on the tuna stock and their constraints to be used as weight of evidence. They will be required to make suggestions on the sustainability of their activities.

Questionnaires will be distributed to at least 5 stakeholders in each category, namely:

Administrators of the Ministry of Fisheries

Scientists of the Fisheries Research Division

Directors and Managers of Fishing Companies

Directors and Managers of Fish Processing Companies

Director of MEXA

Director of Board of Investment (BOI)

Director of Small and Medium Industry Development Organisation (SMIDO)

Chairmen of Fishermen Associations for FAD fishery

4.2 Secondary research

Besides primary research, the researcher will dedicate a significant amount of time in the collection of relevant secondary data from different sources over the last ten year period. The dissertation will at the first instance identify all the factors affecting the tuna industry ranging from the provision of raw materials to the finished product. For the purpose of the study, it is proposed to use the export value as the dependant variable. Subsequently, data covering the period for the last ten years will be collected from sources available at the Ministry of Fisheries, the Mauritius Statistics Bureau and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce. Independent variables include total catch, number of licences issued, transhipment, imports, employment, inflation, exchange rate and market price for the last ten year period. Knowledge on the levels of impact of the independent variables on the export is of paramount importance in order to formulate future strategy for the industry's sustainability and ensure a more significant and on-going contribution to the Mauritian economy. The following independent variables have been identified as factors to have an impact on the dependent variable and will need to be addressed and analysed in the dissertation:

Total Catch of Tuna and Tuna-like species - Total catch comprises catch by local and foreign vessels exploiting the EEZ and landing same at the fishing port. Data on catch from the local fishermen fishing around FADs will also be included in the total catch. It affects the export of tuna. A rise in total catch will increase supply of tuna and hence enable processing firms to export more. However, a fall in local and foreign catch will reduce the supply of tuna, resulting in a fall in export.

Number of licenses issued to local and foreign fishing vessels - Mauritius has no adequate financial resources to invest into building up of a local fleet to exploit the fisheries resources within its EEZ alone and as such has to resort to foreign capacities. In this context, licenses to fish in the Mauritian waters are issued to foreign fleet under agreements. An increase in the number of licences issued will lead to a rise in catch and this will in turn increase exports. However, if government adopts a restrictive policy, less licenses will be issued and lead to a fall in exports. It is therefore felt that the number of licenses to be issued should be carefully studied on one end to increase contribution to the local economy and on the other to exploit the resources in a sustainable manner.

Transhipment - Foreign fishing vessels operating outside the EEZ of Mauritius uses the port facilities for transhipment of their product to different countries. Transhipment is considered as an export for Mauritius and as such constitutes an important factor to be studied.

Imports -Mauritius depends to a large extent on the importation of raw materials (frozen tuna) to feed its processing plants. The processed products are then exported to foreign markets. Significant decrease in availability of raw materials may hamper production, thus having consequent impact on export, leading to a decrease in economic contribution of the industry.

Employment - Employment in the tuna industry comprises the labour force in the processing plants, fishermen employed in fishing fleet, supporting personnel and the administrative cadre. For the purpose of the dissertation, less attention will be given to indirect employment. It is imperative to have an optimum level of employment to ensure uninterrupted production to supply the market.

Inflation - Inflation refers to a general and sustained rise in the prices of goods and services. It can cause costs and prices of tuna to rise. High inflation has the tendency to be associated with low exports, thus reducing revenue of the industry and lead to unsustainability, less appropriate and timely decisions are taken to stabilise the situation. Therefore, the impact of the inflation factor on the dependent variable should be clearly understood to guide stake holders on decision making.

Exchange rate- The influence of exchange rate as an external factor cannot be dictated by the stakeholders. However, in the face on uncertainties, production of tuna and tuna products and hence export will be undermined and could result in the loss of competiveness. The imminence of further depreciation of the EURO is a potential source of instability in export earnings and as such needs to be studied in the dissertation.

Market Price - According to the law of demand put forward by Marshall (1980), there is an inverse relationship between price and demand. A rise in the price of tuna will cause demand to fall, thereby reducing export. On the other hand, a fall in price will increase demand and hence export. Being given that Mauritius is dependent on the export of tuna on the foreign market, any significant price variation will have direct bearing on the profitability of the industry and hence deserve to be given attention.

These secondary data and any other additional information are available at the Ministry of Fisheries, Mauritius Statistics Bureau, the Tuna Fishing Processing Companies, the Mauritius Export Association, Association of Tuna Fishermen, The Small and Medium Enterprises Development Organisation and the Ministry of Industry and Commerce.

4.3 Analysis of results

In order to assess the effect of the identified independent variables on the dependent on, a number of econometric models exist to testify the level of impact of the different parameters. In addition, forecasting of the export for year 2013 will be carried out using the Exponential Smoothing method. It has been found appropriate to use the Multiple Regression Model for the analysis of the variables carried out using ordinary least square (OLS).

The dependent variable (Export) will be a function of some independent variables such as catch, import, number of licences, employment, transhipment, inflation, exchange rate and market price as expressed in the general equation below:

Y= f (X1 + X2 + X3 + X4 + X5 + X6 + X7 + X8)

In functional form it will be:

Log Y= β0 + β1 LogX1 + β2 LogX2 + β3 LogX3 + β4 LogX4 + β5 LogX5 + β6 LogX6 + β7 LogX7 + β8LogX8 + Ut

Where Log Y = Export of tuna

β0 =constant parameter representing the intercept

β1-β8 = coefficients of the variables

Log X1 = Catch

Log X2 = Number of licences

Log X3 = Transhipment

Log X4 = Import

Log X5 = Employment

Log X6 = Inflation

Log X7= Exchange Rate

Log X8 = Market Price

Ut= Error term

4.4 Exponential Smoothing

"Forecasting involves making projections about f

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