Mauritius as Your Supplier of Seafood Products & Your Investment Destination
Mauritius has one of the most successful and competitive economies as well as one of the highest per capita incomes in Africa. The economy is based on tourism, textiles, sugar, and financial services. In recent years, information and communication technology (ICT), particularly business process outsourcing, and seafood have emerged as important sectors of the economy. Mauritius was ranked first in Africa and 21st in the world for ease of doing business by The World Bank 2011 Doing Business Survey.
The Government of Mauritius has been giving its full commitment to transform Mauritius into a major seafood hub in the region for the supply of value-added processes and services related to the sourcing and marketing of seafood products. Fish farming is an emerging field which is being developed and where new opportunities in marine aquaculture can be further explored. Major fish processing activities involve filleting, packaging, canning, vacuum packing and production for ready-to-eat markets. The Government, through its investment facilitating agency, the Board of Investment, is promoting the seafood industry and has already attracted investors from countries like Spain, Japan, UK and France. Investment opportunities exist in tuna transshipment, processing of high-value added seafood products, and marine aquaculture in the lagoon of Mauritius. Mauritius offers both a low tax jurisdiction and competitively priced business costs
MEXA Seafood Council
MEXA Seafood Council is the body regrouping seafood operators of the private sector. The mission of MEXA Seafood Council is to promote the interests of the seafood exporting community and to assist them to become world-class players through value-added services.
Most of our products are exported to Europe and this implies compliance to EU food safety and hygiene requirements. The MEXA Seafood Council together with the Government is working towards food safety, quality, traceability and sustainability to ensure that all exports of seafood products comply with EU standards. Mauritius is committed to sustainable fishing and the EC Regulation on IUU Fishing has been implemented to counter Illegal, Unreported and Unregulated (IUU) fishing.
The MEXA Seafood Council members meet regularly with authorities, the Ministry of Fisheries and the Competent Authority to discuss issues of interest to the seafood operators. The MEXA Seafood Conference – La Route du Poisson has become a regular conference that is organized by the MEXA Seafood Council to bring together stakeholders of the seafood sector and public institutions to discuss the major challenges of operators with regards to sustainability, international trade, market access, trade facilitation and industry compliance.
Seafood operators participate in international fairs and conferences and a Mauritius Pavilion, with the support of Enterprise Mauritius, has been present since the past few years at the European Seafood Show in Brussels, Belgium.
Facts & Figures
Mauritius Exclusive Economic Zone: Surface area of 1.9 million square kilometres
Products: Canned tuna, fresh and frozen loins, smoked fish, fresh, and frozen fillets processed from skipjack, albacore, marlin and swordfish, tropical fish species and whitefish.
Food and Safety Standards: EU standards, FDA norms, HACCP registration
Cold Storage facilities: Modern cold/dry goods warehouses of a total capacity of about 130 000 m2
Government one-stop shop service: Effective import and export services including customs and veterinary department
Preferential Market Access: Derogation under the new EU Economic Partnership Agreement for an annual quota for canned tuna and tuna loins
Major Markets: Europe, United States, Japan & South Africa
Major Fish-related indicators: Total exports: Approx. $ 1,000 million / Seafood exports: Approx. $ 185 million / Amount of fish landed: 120 000 t/year
Regular fish supply: Foreign purse seiners and long liners operating in the Indian Ocean region
Harbour Facilities: Good port facilities to handle large ships, excellent ancillary seafood-related services at competitive rates, good infrastructure and logistics
Shipping and Air Connections: Professional ship agency and logistics providers, reefer container services for the re-export of frozen fish and regular reefer service for the supply of frozen tuna to tuna processing, daily air connections to major European, African and Asian cities are available for the export of fresh and chilled seafood products
Other Services: Ship building and ship repair services of international standard, presence of all major petroleum companies for bunkering services
In its Green Paper reviewing the EU fisheries policy, it is very clear that the future of the fisheries lies in sustainability and conservation policy is one of the four main pillars of the common fisheries policy.
Increasing public awareness of the consequences of overfishing in Europe has started to change consumer demand and market dynamics are forced to adjust to this new trend. The discussion on sustainability is now real and starts having a direct impact on what happens in the tuna fisheries and tuna processing in the Indian Ocean. This discussion will affect the manner in which tuna fisheries are managed and what fish products the market will accept. This means that all parties involved have to review the manner in which the tuna fishery in the Indian Ocean is conducted and there is no other choice than aiming for more sustainable tuna fishing measures. Retailers will buy products from fish processors that are able to supply them with certified sustainable fish products. The Government and fish processing industry in the Indian Ocean countries have no other choice than to realize sustainable and certifiable tuna fisheries in order to maintain their leading role as EU canned tuna suppliers.
Monitoring of fleet fishing capacity and catches to avoid over-exploitation and underestimation of catches, improving collection, management and use of fisheries data for better stock assessment, reinforcement of conservation and management measures, reinforcement of monitoring, control and surveillance (MCS) measures, use of appropriate fishing gear by fleets and measurement of artisanal fisheries resources for sustainability of small-scale fishing are all important issues that need to be looked into to ensure sustainable and viable fisheries activities in our waters and supply of fisheries products to the EC market.