United Nations
Research towards sustainable development of ocean economy
by Mauritius Oceanography Institute (Government)
To fully charaterise the physical, chemical and biological attributes of Mauritiuss oceanic and coastal environments.
The overall goal of the project is to evaluate the economic, environmental and societal nature of near shore waters with emphasis on their potential for aquaculture and coastal development directed towards Small and Medium Entrepreneurs (SMEs). This project entails a multi-disciplinary approach merging physical, chemical and biological understanding. The following gives the specific objective of each component:

Component 1: ocean dynamics. The objective of this component is to establish the physical dynamics of the aqua-culture sites as first priority and at second stage, to have an integrated approach to the whole ecosystem around the selected sites. It will look into the:
Topography of the beach.
Sediment transport and granulometry.
Habitat cover survey.
Physical dynamics: Tide, wave, temperature, salinity, fluorescence and current patterns.

Component 2: GIS (Geographic Information System) database. The objective of this component is to establish integrated management systems on GIS by building a data network for each site thereby showing the correlation among the parameters and overall biodiversity in addition to the physical attributes of each site. To manage complex issues, GIS gives the possibility to understand and analyze resources and their environment from a geographical point of view to show relationships, patterns and trends.

Component 3: Remote sensing. This component aims to monitor the state of the ocean and give the trend over the years on its evolution; this will be among key information for aquaculture projects. It is important to understand
Inter and intra annual variability of our waters.
Synoptic patterns and trends.
Sustainability of any marine project is dependent on proper assessment of the marine environment and preparedness to mitigate ocean hazards.
Component 4: Modelling. This component will make use of numerical models which will require the use of both in-situ and satellite data to look into the physical dynamics to:
Estimate and predict the hydrodynamics of lagoonal circulation due to waves, tides and regional ocean currents.
Site characterization and hazard management.

Component 5: Bathymetry. Most of the entrepreneurs in aquaculture require bathymetric information. Bathymetry data is an important component to determine the organisms to be cultured. Further, it will provide baseline information applicable in other field of coastal development. The aim is to have a detailed bathymetry of area earmarked for the aquaculture projects and its surroundings.

Component 6: Chemical. The importance to study water quality in the setting up of any aqua farm is unequivocal. Defining the chemical parameters in a region will help in the identification of cultured species which will benefit from the prevailing conditions for optimal growth. The objectives of this component will look into:

Chemical profiling of sites proposed for aquaculture (measurement of conductivity, temperature, dissolved oxygen, nutrients, chlorophyll content and heavy metals).
Identification and characterization of water input from land (if any).
Chemical characterization of sediment to determine the amount of absorbed and recirculated heavy metals.
Probe for organic pollutants in the water.
Progress reports
By 2030, increase the economic benefits to Small Island developing States and least developed countries from the sustainable use of marine resources, including through sustainable management of fisheries, aquaculture and tourism
Type of commitment
  • Economic benefits from sustainable aquaculture/mariculture
  • Economic benefits from marine renewable energy
  • Economic benefits from marine biotechnology
Increase scientific knowledge, develop research capacity and transfer marine technology, taking into account the Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission Criteria and Guidelines on the Transfer of Marine Technology, in order to improve ocean health and to enhance the contribution of marine biodiversity to the development of developing countries, in particular small island developing States and least developed countries
Type of commitment
  • Scientific, socioeconomic and interdisciplinary research
  • Research capacity development
  • Data access and sharing
  • Training and professional development
  • Scientific cooperation
  • Transfer marine technology
  • Actions that support SIDS and LDCs
Baseline dataset on living and nonliving resources in Mauritius Waters which will allow monitoring of the development within Ocean Economy sector.
GIS maps of areas surveyed comprising the biological, physical and chemical oceanography parameters which are necessary for the development of Ocean economy sector.
Other, please specify
Financing- The fund for the project has been obtained from the government of the Republic of Mauritius. The fund is allocated to the MOI at the beginning of each financial year in line with the forecasted yearly expenses of the project.
In-kind contribution
The realisation of the project involves the participation of high calibre scientists in the field of chemical, biological and physical oceanography to undertake surveys in the waters of Republic of Mauritius which comprises of Mauritius, the main Island,
Basic information
Time-frame: November 2015 - November 2030
Mauritius Oceanography Institute (lead entity), Albion Fisheries Research Centre (Government), National Coast Guard (Government), University of Mauritius (Government)
Ocean Basins
  • Indian Ocean
Beneficiary countries
Other beneficaries
Contact information
Ruby Moothien-Pillay, Dr. (Mrs), Director of Mauritius Oceanography Institute, rubykm@moi.intnet.mu, +230 206 0560
Albion, Mauritius
Other SDGs
United Nations