Nouakchott (AFP) Nov 21, 2010
Mauritania's Prime Minister Moulaye Ould Mohamed Laghdaf Sunday laid the first stone of a 120-million-dollar complex for the fishing industry, financed by China, the AMI state news agency said.
The complex will include a warehouse with a capacity for 6,000 tonnes of fish along with facilities to make ice and to treat and develop seafood products, AMI said.
The project also envisions developing a flotilla of 46 deep-sea fishing ships and another 100 fishing boats. The complex will provide some ship building and maintenance.
According to AMI, the fishing complex will provide some 2,500 jobs, with a large number set aside for Mauritanian women.
China's ambassador to Mauritania, Zhang Xun, who also attended the ground-breaking, said that Beijing has "worked to encourage Chinese businessmen to work in Mauritania in accordance with the country's new fishing policy".
The fishing complex project is being launched as the west African nation prepares to mark its 50th anniversary of independence from France on November 28.
earlier related report
The 20,000-hectare (49,500 acre) area around Nusa Penida, Nusa Ceningan and Nusa Lembongan islands will be protected from destructive fishing, waste dumping and coral mining, project leader Marthen Welly told AFP.
"Destructive fishing is carried out by fishermen using cyanide and explosives," Welly of the conservation group The Nature Conservancy (TNC) said.
"Many ships also throw anchors on the coral reefs and hotels and households dump wastes causing water pollution. Now they can't do these anymore," he said.
Guidelines for marine tourism will also be drawn up and zones carved out for various activities including fishing, tourism and seaweed mining, Welly said.
"We'll need to consult the community further and we hope to do this within six months," he added.
The islands are part of Coral Triangle, considered the world's richest underwater wilderness which stretches across six nations between the Indian and Pacific oceans -- Indonesia, Malaysia, the Philippines, East Timor, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.
Divers from all over the world arrive at the islands between July and September in the hope of seeing the Mola-Mola, a rare two-metre-long ocean sunfish.
The district government will provide 300 million rupiah (33,600 dollars) and aid agency USAID and TNC will each provide 50,000 dollars a year to run the project, TNC Indonesia director Arwandrija Rukma said.
Maritime Affairs and Fisheries Minister Fadel Muhammad said the project will contribute to the government's target of creating 20 million hectares of maritime conservation parks by 2020, up from around 13 million currently.
"The establishment of MPA (Marine Protected Area) is a concrete step taken by the government to implement the plan of action under the Coral Triangle Initiative," he said.
The Coral Triangle Initiative, which was formed in 2007, calls for stronger international cooperation to combat illegal fishing and environmental destruction in an area half the size of the United States and home to half the world's coral reefs.
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Japan takes lead in Atlantic bluefin tuna battle
Paris (AFP) Nov 19, 2010
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