Mauritius hosts 5th meeting of Southern African Regional Cooperation Group on Safety of Navigation and Marine Protection
06 March 2018
The 5th Meeting of the Southern African Regional Cooperation Group on Safety of Navigation and Marine Protection (SAGNEP) opened this morning at Cyber Tower 1 in Ebène in the presence of the Minister of Ocean economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, Mr Premdut Koonjoo. Organised jointly with the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, the two-day meeting is being attended by around 50 local and foreign maritime experts. In his address, Minister Koonjoo pointed out that the maritime sector in Mauritius plays a key role in its economic development and is poised to become one of the mainstays of the ocean economy especially with the ongoing port developments and intensification of the maritime traffic in the Indian Ocean. Referring to safety which is a critical factor that underpins all activities of the maritime industry, Minister Koonjoo emphasised that the International Maritime Organisation, as the United Nations specialised agency catering for the regulatory aspects of the maritime industry, has always paid great attention to the improvement of navigational safety. A number of Conventions, codes and guidelines has been put in place to ensure safety and efficiency in the shipping sector, he said. However, he added, in spite of these systems in place, it has not been possible to prevent maritime disasters. Safety of navigation is very important in the maritime industry since maritime casualties usually result in loss of life, loss of property, pollution of the marine environment and financial loss, he pointed out. Speaking about the ocean economy which is an important economic pillar for Mauritius, Mr Koonjoo stated that Government is implementing several measures to give a boost to this important sector. To enable effective management of resources and implementations of the provisions of the various International Maritime Organisation conventions, the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping is taking appropriate measures for their domestication. The aim of these actions is to make Mauritius the Maritime Hub of this region, he said.