PUBLIC BEACH: Only around 88 bins available instead of 466.

The public is a major concern of the Ministry of Environment. Around only 88 bins are available  on public beaches which are not sufficient for the number of people who come. Is it the lack of bins which force people to throw their garbages anywhere or everywhere ? Is it the distance between bins? Are the bins too small ? Is it obvious to have more garbages on the beach after a festival ? Is there an attitude problem with people ? Is it because people are not aware of the life cycle of garbages ? Should  people be educated on the impact of throwing garbages at the beach and how this is affecting the environment ? Do garbages affect tourists attraction in Mauritius? Some answers are found in this video below.

The total number of bins required on the public beaches as per a 2015 survey done by the Ministry of Environment is 466. Bins are placed on the public beaches so as to encourage people to avoid littering, which creates an unhealthy and aesthetically unpleasant social environment. The new policy of the Minister of Environment, Sustainable Development, and Disaster and Beach Management is to construct a central bin  on each beach. As a pilot project, a central bin has been constructed at Bain Boeuf public beach. Signage boards have been placed in order to sensitize and guide the beach users to use the central bin to dump their wastes.

The Beach Authority is mandated to carry out sensitization campaign on public beaches for the awareness of the public on the importance to preserve, protect and maintain cleanliness on all the public beaches. The rationale behind the campaign is to curb the disposal of garbage and change the mindset of the people with regard to the proper use of public beaches. Emphasis is also laid on the consequences of the destruction of the eco-system, beach erosion and mitigation impacts of climate change.  People should be educated on the life span of garbages and their consequences. The most seen garbages on public beaches is plastic bags. These plastic bags take over 15 years to decompose which is enormous. The amount of plastic bags thrown every year is continuously destroying the marine parks and exotic aquatic animals. Some fish have become extinct due to excessive garbages thrown at the beach.

Mauritius, being a small island, has limited space to put waste. With modern products and imports, and the growth of industry and tourism, more and more waste is being dumped in the sea. Sewage is mainly pumped out to sea, without treatment, and pollution is increasing with the growth of the population and tourism.
This can eventually destroy the coral reefs which play an important role in calming the energy of the waves, providing vital protection to the shores. Coral reefs are a major contributory factor to the beautiful beaches which attract many tourists to the island.

                                                       Source : Zero Waste Movement


The Beach Authority plays a key role in maintaining clean public beaches in the Republic of Mauritius. The cleaning and maintenance exercises are contracted out over to Maxiclean Ltd, Securiclean Ltd, Compagnie Regionale De Service et de L’Environnement Commercial Complex, Keep Clean Ltd, Mauriclean Ltd and Atics Ltd. The Beach Enforcement Officers of t    he Beach Authority ensure that the contractors comply with the terms and conditions of their contracts.


                           Source : Clean up campaigns in Mauritius

On the 15th May 2017, the government launched a Clean up Mauritius and Embellishment campaign at Sugar Beach Golf and Spa Resort. The minister Anil Gayan made an appeal out in his speech that everyone should have the responsibility to keep the country clean and this should start from the youngest member in the family.

 Author: Jaya Bhujun


Aquaculture Products: an economic pillar yet a slow killer

Statistics from the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping prove that aquaculture production in Mauritius is increasing annually.  However, many consumers are unaware about the health dangers that can be caused by the consumption of aquaculture products.

Source: FAO

According to the National Oceanic Atmospheric and Administration (NOAA) Fisheries of the U.S, aquaculture refers “to the breeding, rearing and harvesting of plants and animals in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes and the ocean.” The aim of growing hatchery fish and shellfish in ponds, tanks, cages and raceways is to produce seafood. Two types of aquaculture have been identified:

(1) Marine aquaculture, which refers to the breeding of species that live in the ocean. (2)Freshwater aquaculture, which refers to the production of species which dwell in lakes, rivers and streams.

The British aquaculture author, C. F. Hickling explains that aquaculture began in the period 2000-1000 BC in China. Hence, aquaculture dates as far as 4000 years ago.  Till the end of 17th century, aquaculture production was confined only to China. In the first half of the 18th century, along with Chinese migration to French Indochinese countries, the practice of aquaculture started spreading out of China around the world. The sub-continent of India, Indonesia, Europe, North America and Africa started the aquaculture production.

Established in June 1982, the Albion Fisheries Research Centre published a document in 2010, which explains the goal of introducing aquaculture in Mauritius. The aim is to promote sustainable aquaculture development through the production and supply of fish seeds to farmers and for marine ranching. The above mentioned centre reports that the following species have been chosen for farming and for exportation: Freshwater Prawn, Berri Rouge, Gold Fish, Platy, Sailfin Molly, Cordonnier, Seabream and Oyster. 

Source: Board of Investment

Aquaculture boosting up the economic pillar


Aquaculture production in Mauritius has led to the creation of employment in the recent years.The figure below from the Albion Fisheries Research Centre shows the number of employed people in aquaculture production.

The Director of Jessan Seafood Ltd, Jessan Persand started the aquaculture of oyster since 2 years now. He explains that a number of scientific tests are carried out to improve the quality of the oysters in order to meet the expectations of both Mauritians and tourists. He also explains  why he started this business.

  Annual fish production in Mauritius

Every year the production of fish is going up. The figure from the ministry below shows the increase (in tonnes) in the number of production throughout the years and the number of production made from aquaculture.

Fish consumption in Mauritius

As observed above, there has been a rise in the aquaculture of fish throughout the years. Fish is one of the seafood consumed by most Mauritians. In 2013, the FAO carried a Fish Consumption survey in Mauritius. The outcome of the survey showed 23.1 kg/year of fresh and frozen fish are consumed per capita and 16.8 kg/year of other fishery products are consumed per capita. Therefore, excluding non-consumers and vegetarians, Mauritians consume some 40 kg of fish and fishery products annually. As shown in the diagram below, 88% of respondents preferred local fish rather than imported ones. The 12 % who preferred imported fish state that imported fish have better quality.

Statistics from the Fish Consumption survey in Mauritius

Are we aware which quality of fish we are consuming?

Whether it is imported or local fish, we have no idea about the way the fish has been produced or about the environment in which the fish is grown. Research has proved that farmed fish can cause harm to the health of consumers. As a result, consumers of farmed fish can be victims of chronic diseases.

According to the Center for Food Safety of US, aquaculture practices endanger human health. Antibiotics are used to control disease in the cage of the sea creatures. When consumers eat these products that have been treated with antibiotics they may be ingesting noxious level of antibiotics residues.  Moreover, fungicide is used to prevent the growth of fungus on fish eggs. Above all, it is estimated that 95 % of Atlantic salmon is farmed and they are dyed pink to make them more appetizing. Recent articles have proved that there is a possibility of retinal damage in children due to artificial food coloring. This Center also claims that farmed fish contain lower levels of protein and higher levels of fat. Thus, seafood does not always provide the health benefits consumers think it does. In their study ” Occurrence of veterinary antibiotics in animal wastewater and surface water around farms in Jiangsu Province, China”,  Wei et al. (2011) found that Tetracycline is one of the antibiotics used in China for aquaculture production. While in his study “Veterinary antibiotics in the aquatic and terrestrial environment” Kemper (2008) found that Quinolones are fully synthetic antibiotics used in fish farming. 

Dr. Ramdhany Anjiv, a medical doctor in Mauritius explains the side effects of Tetracycline and Quinolones on the health of human beings when these antibiotics are consumed regularly through animal products.

According to Food and Agriculture Organization, fish contains a rich source of vitamins and minerals, such as B12, vitamin D, Iodine and Zinc which are valuable for the healthy growth of children. At the same time, fish is also rich in omega-3 fatty acid, which is vital for brain and eyes development. The FAO also claims that eating one serving fish per week reduces the risk of health attacks and strokes. However, as mentioned below, do fish produced through aquaculture with a number of antibiotics provide the same nutritional value as wild fish? Jillian Fry, director of the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future’s Public Health and Sustainable Aquaculture Project reveals that fish obtain their fatty acids by eating algae in the water. Bigger fish acquire more omega-3 when they eat small fish. However, fish in tanks are given soybeans, corns or wheat-based foods which interrupt the food chain of fish. In this way, there is nutritional deficit of fish and consumers do not obtain the same nutritional value from farmed fish than from wild fish. 

Source: Food and Agriculture Organization

A number of fish have a lack of Omega-3 as they are not able to feed on smaller fish. To counter this problem, fish are given Fishmeal and Fish oil to consume. Fishmeal is a common source of protein in aquaculture feeds. Fishmeal are made of animal byproducts such as poultry by product meal while, Fish oil is used as fat source. Shepherd and Jackson (2013) in their study “Global fishmeal and fish oil supply-inputs, outputs and markets” state that the important components of Fishmeal and Fish oil are wild-caught forage fish. That is smaller fish are caught to feed faming fish. In their journal “China’s aquaculture and the world’s wild fisheries” Cao et al (2015) reveals that the “use of forage fish and low-value “trash” fish to feed growing aquaculture industry raises concern of overfishing, disruption to aquatic food webs, food industry and a potential net loss of seafood available for human consumption.” The World Aquaculture Society (2009) confirms that “The proportion of fishmeal supplies used for fish production have increased from 10% in 1988 to more than 30% in the last years, which classifies aquaculture as a potential promoter of the collapse of fisheries stocks worldwide.”


In his study on “Aquafeeds and the environment”, J. Lopez Alvarado (1997) claims that fish farming produce an amount of wastes that are loaded to the environment. After consuming a number of antibiotics, the farming fishes excrete some of the nutrients through the grills and undoubtedly, the excretion will affect all the sea creatures near the farming nets. As a result, the wild creatures in the surrounding will be contaminated. The figure below shows how the solid wastes are released and cause negative impact on the environment as well as the health of human beings. The study explains “To produce 1 ton of fish, 1800 kg of feed are needed (for a FCR of 1.8). For a 47% protein diet with 1% phosphorus content, this means an input of 18 kg phosphorus and 135.4 kg nitrogen with the diets. Of this, 5 kg of phosphorus and 30 kg nitrogen will be retained by the fish for growth. The rest will be loaded to the. environment, resulting in a total release of 180 kg of solids, 13 kg phosphorus and 105.4 kg nitrogen.”

Source: Aquafeeds and the environment Report

 The above mentioned points show that the processes of aquaculture in other countries are untrustworthy and consumers must be cautious before consuming imported seafood. Aquaculture production is in infancy state in Mauritius and it is not necessary that the same process is used to grow up farmed fish across the island. An officer from the Aquaculture Division of the Albion Fisheries Research Centre explains that she cannot reveal which antibiotics are used in Mauritius as it is “highly confidential“.  However, as consumers are we not allowed to know what antibiotics  we are consuming through aquaculture products?

The officer also clarifies that the fish meal used in Mauritius are bought from two companies, namely, Livestock Feed Ltd and Meaders Feed Ltd.

On one side of the coin, fisheries production, which includes aquaculture production in Mauritius, brings financial revenue for the government and creates various jobs for people across the island.  On the other side of the coin, the method (usage of antibiotics) used to breed the farming fishes in Mauritius can probably be the same as other countries which is undoubtedly causing a detriment to the health of consumers. Therefore, for their own well-being, consumers must inquire where the seafood comes from.

Author: Chaitan Dabee

2021: The Ministry of Education will implement co-education in 12 academies.

« Nine-year schooling » These 3 words have given birth to a number of debates among parliamentarians, secondary educators and parents for more than 2 years since now.

This subject was discussed for the first time by the former Minister of Education, Vasant Bunwaree, in parliament in 2014 before being reintroduced in 2015 by the present Minister of Education, Leela Devi Dookun Lutchmun. After several versions, the nine-year schooling was finally introduced in the beginning of 2017.

However, in November 2015, the minister announced in parliament that co-education in academies will be implemented in 2021. She further stated that without any imposition, other secondary schools can continue as single sex schools.

About nine months later, in July 2016, the Minister shed further light on the introduction of co-education in 2021. She also confirmed that 12 national colleges would be converted into academies. These academies would only have classes from Grade 10 to 13.

The list of academies is as follows:

(1) Dr. Maurice Curé State College

(2) Droopnath Ramphul State College

(3) G.M.D Atchia State College

(4) John Kennedy College

(5) Mahatma Gandhi Institute

(6) Queen Elizabeth College

(7) Royal College Curepipe

(8) Royal College Port Louis

(9) Sookdeo Bissoondoyal State College

(10) Sir Leckraz Teelock SSS

(11) Sir A.R. Osman State School

(12) Forest Side SSS

Source: Inspiring every child- MOE

Hiranand Boolchand Dansinghani, senior adviser at the Ministry of Education provides the rationale for co-education: “We want to change people’s mind-sets to accept co-education. As we all know since primary school, kids are already being taught in mixed environment and private tuitions happen in a mixed environment too. People are growing up in a collaborative manner, to live together. Even societies operate on the basis that people should work together.

He states that “It is obvious that co-education will bring infrastructural changes, and the government is taking care of that. By starting with the basics such as the toilet, home economics labs in boys’ schools and technical departments in girls’ schools. Adjustments will be made in academies to welcome both genders. If a private college wants to become an academy, the grant from PSEA (Ex-PSSA) will provide support to overcome this infrastructural issue.”

The adviser explains the reason behind academies with 2 or 3 areas of expertise: “With time, institutions have carved a reputation in a particular field such as the Royal College of Curepipe is more bent towards economics & accounts and the Royal College of Port-Louis towards science. That’s why we are saying that they are going into a specialization in 2 or 3 domains. But academies will have to give options otherwise it will be an institution devoted to one domain, which is not our intention at all.” Dansinghani claims that “the criterion to enter the academies will be based on the performance where pupils must show competency in non-core subjects also.”

Along with the nine-year schooling, a new management model will be introduced not only in the academies but in other secondary schools “The management model that we want to adopt in academies, is based on the common decision of each stakeholders. The idea is to allow both school staffs and the community to participate in the empowerment of the pupils by increasing the contribution of each stakeholder. Parents who are professional people and intellectuals can contribute by sharing their expertise with the school.”

He believes that the nine-year schooling will bring positive changes in the attitude and performance of boys. “Statistics shows that each year, boys are under-performing. So, co-education is the solution. Co-education will bring healthy competition between boys and girls. Boys will become more cautious about their self image. Consequently, there will be less failure among boys”

Moher Dharamdeo, the rector of D.A.V. College, Port Louis explains how he manages an institution which has always offered co-education throughout its 25 years of existence.

Arvind Bhojun, teacher in a private mixed secondary school is a big supporter of co-education.

Another teacher who preferred to keep anonymous brings to light a number of problems that the Ministry of Education must take into consideration before implementing co-education.

The sociologist Jay Ramsaha from MIE believes that co-education has both positive and negative impacts.

Selvina B. Rajodu, a student from a mixed secondary institution concedes that co-education brings healthy debates and broader perceptions among boys and girls.

Debates will still go on before and after the implementation of co-education in academies in Mauritius. In the meantime, one can only hope that the Ministry of Education will be able to change the mindset of parents towards co-education, will take into consideration the suggestions of teachers before the implementation of co-education and that the positive aspects of the system will outweigh the negative ones. It is to be noted that there are 183 secondary institutions in Mauritius. Within 183 secondary institutions, 79 institutions are mixed secondary schools, 54 institutions are boys secondary schools and 50 are girls secondary schools. As observed, Mauritius has more mixed secondary schools than single sex secondary institutions. Hence, having more secondary schools with the Co Education system will surely be not a problem.

Authors: Chaitan Dabee & Johann Bissessur

What happens to those who leave school early?



The Mauritius map above englobes the whole education system in the Republic of Mauritius in the year 2015. It is divided into zones and categorized in Primary, Secondary and Tertiary education.

A study was carried out to analyze three cohorts. One can notice a significant decrease in the number of students over the years.


Total number of pupils examined over the years
Year  Number of pupils Decrease
 NOV 2016    HSC 9 285 pupils   13 891


 NOV 2014     SC 15 632 pupils
 NOV 2009     CPE 23 176 puplis
 NOV 2014 HSC 10 429 pupils  13 235


 NOV 2012 SC 16 967 pupils
 NOV 2008 CPE 23 664 pupils
 NOV 2013 HSC 10 287 pupils 13763                                     pupils
 NOV 2011 SC 17 192 pupils
 NOV 2007 CPE 24 050 pupils

There is a decrease of about 13 000 pupils for every cohort when reaching the HSC level. For each cohort, there is a decrease of about 6000 – 7000 pupils for each main stage (i.e. CPE to SC and SC to HSC). These are not able to finish their HSC despite having taken part in the CPE exams. Why such a drastic decrease? Do they have numerous failures and dropouts? Where do they go if they do not take part in the SC and HSC exams? Do they look for a job or register at the MITD? The year 2015 saw 6 884 youngsters enrolled at the MITD, which is not even a third of the amount of pupils who disappeared from the system after the SC level.

Throughout several years, there has been a constant decrease in the number of SC students who passed their exams. Through the Ministry of Education’s recent statistics, we deduce that among the 15,295 students who participated in the SC exams in 2013, only 11,461 passed and 9,917 participated in the HSC exams in 2015.


Figure 1: Total of students in SC&HSC and numbers who passed the exams

What did the students do if they left school after the SC examinations? Did they start working or join technical schools like MITD?

The MITD is a training center that promotes vocational education, technical and training. Throughout the island, there are now 15 training centers that are open for different courses and training.

For the last three years, more than 10, 000 people have been enrolled in the 15 centers of MITD in the island, according to the statistics found on the Ministry of Education’s website.

graph 2.png

Figure 2 : Enrollment in MITD

However, it is to be noted that the number of admissions in the Mauritius Institute of Training and Development has been declining. In 2013, the institution welcomed 10,463 students while in 2015, only 6,884 students were enrolled for the courses.


Jaya Bhujun & Zainah Peerally

Students assignments for Digital Journalism

Here are all the first assignments which were produced by the Journalism Yr 3 students for the module Digital Journalism this semester. Please bear in mind that this is a pedagogical exercise designed to help students produce reporting that combines data, video, audio, text etc. When teaching this module, I always find that the hardest part is to inculcate the notion that you have to have solid, verifiable data and that you need to process it first before jumping into interviews to avoid mere “he says, she says” journalism. Some have made some interesting efforts.

Tourists in Mauritius: over 80% steer away from hotels

Tourists visiting our country in ever-increasing numbers have become an integral part of our landscape, blending in our daily lives. But where do these Europeans, Asians and other recurring guests retreat to once they are done getting their tan right on our sandy beaches? If you are thinking of hotels, take another guess. Because, as surprising as this may sound, only under 20% of our tourists stay in our one-to-five-star hotels.

Our influx of travellers has been on the high tide for many years now. Yet, as they came to our shores in even greater numbers as was the case last year – over 120,000 more tourists visited Mauritius as compared to 2015 –, they seem to stray away from the trend of hotel accommodation. Despite better performances in terms of room and bed occupancy rates, our hotels are actually attracting a smaller proportion of incoming tourists. An analysis of Statistics Mauritius 2015-2016 data sets indeed allows for this interesting but none-the-less astonishing finding. Figures indicate that this particular type of accommodation retained only 17.5% of total tourists in 2016, denoting a further 0.2% decrease from the previous year. Even our large hotels, which account for 80% of tourists in hotel, stagnate at a 14.2% retention rate.

So where are more than four-fifths of our foreign visitors staying at these days? In private villas, inns, guestrooms and, perhaps, the apartment next door. According to Mauritius Tourism and Promotion Authority records, 900 and 152 individuals currently own licenses for tourist residences and guesthouses respectively. These cheaper alternative accommodation services have become popular with our tourists, who are likely seeking more autonomous travel experiences.

With these new stakeholders in the playing field, it is undeniable that hotels across the island are gradually forfeiting their piece of the cake. A 2014 publication by the Axys Group about the Mauritian tourism industry underscored this loss of hotel market share at an annualized rate of 3.6% since 2008. Within this framework, there is a need to review our economic strategies.


 The increase in the number of hotel rooms to cater for the steady growth in tourist arrivals equates to a rise in employment. At least, this is what former Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Tourism Xavier Duval had to say back in 2016: “We hope to have 600 additional rooms per year, with the aim of maintaining our growth.” But judging from statistics, such endeavors may prove barren given the already small fraction of tourists that existing hotels are able to bring to their quarters. And while employment rate official statistics within the tourism sector may fail to account for emerging alternative accommodation providers, these SMEs may very well lead the way to an expanding hospitality industry.


It is to be observed that the construction of hotel establishments has been stagnant for the past few years. From 112 in 2014 to 115 in 2015, we had 113 hotels at the end of 2016, two of which were closed for renovation works. Yet Mauritius is still able to cater for the growing number of inbound travellers. This other side of the success story of one of our major economic pillars thus raises another question: if the Mauritian layperson is able to drive the tourism industry to some extent, does this not provide an argument against the current land grabbing to turn public beaches into construction sites for yet other –inefficient – luxury hotels?

Authors: Peerally Zainah
                     Liza Bonne
                     Ashish Dabee

(submitted as part of assignment for the module Digital Journalism)

Reference: Statistics Mauritius

Tea in Mauritius: an industry with potential.

by Samuel  Bathilde and Anoushka Bhugaloo

(submitted as part of assignment for the module Digital Journalism)

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Despite what many articles in Mauritius claim, the tea industry is not disappearing. Even though it is true we had a drastic cut from 1995 to 2000 in the amount of land covered by tea plantations, as from 2000 to 2015, the figures show that land cultivation under tea has been rather stable. Moreover, with the prices steadily rising, this remains a profitable sector for the country and a legacy for future generations.


The same applies to tea green leaf production even though we note a peak in 2010 at 7400 tonnes.


However, revenue from tea keeps increasing which shows a tendency in increase in pricing. Thus, with the re-opening of the Dubreuil factory as per the 2016/2017 budget, this revenue is still likely to thrive. Also, the 200 million rupees invested by the Chinese and the company KuanFu Tea which is going to manage the ex-Dubreuil factory seem to herald a new boost in the sector.


“The tea plants are too old and we need new varieties”


The tea plant (Camellia Sinensis) which is being used in Mauritius, has been introduced by Father Galloys more than 250 years ago. Mr Ramahotar, the Director of NAPRO, Mr Yannick Lenferna, Factory Director at Bois Cheri and a source from Kuanfu,  remarked that production is adversely affected by the age of the plants and they are waiting for the arrival of new tea varieties which will boost the tea production. Kuanfu Tea have already proposed the introduction of Oolong tea and will be producing both green and black tea.

“Not enough local workers for tea industry but there is the possibility of importing foreign labour  force”

NAPRO, Bois Cheri Tea Factory and Kuanfu Tea all deplored the lack of local labour force when it comes to tea cultivation. While they all agree that the local labour should be prioritized,  they are nevertheless exploring the possibilities of employing foreigners due to local labour shortage for the tea industry.

“Wooton tea plantation cut down partially to build roads”

Mr H. Ramahotar from the National Agricultural Regulatory Office (NAPRO) explained that the tea plantation at Wooton will be cut down partially to build road infrastructure, a work which has already started since a few years back but this is not likely to affect the production of tea. However, many people, especially the usual pilgrims to Grand Bassin fear the younger pilgrim generations will not be able to see the comforting green tea landscape.

Wooton is indeed an important place in the tea sector. For instance, in 1948, a Tea Research Station was set up there and it is also home to the Tea Board which replaced the Tea Control Board, through the Tea Industry Control Act 1975.


This act also included metayers from private estates under the current Tea Board which had the new powers to determine the price of green leaves for the metayers(those who cultivate lands that are not their own while benefitting from tools and a proportion of the income from the landlord) . For the period 2013 to 2014, there were 879 cultivators with 291 from six cooperatives and 453 metayers which produce 7,826 of green tea leaves.





So while some minor issues and topsy-turvy exist in the industry, there is still hope for the future. Indeed, we must wait and see the direction the industry takes in the next 10 years at least to see whether this is still a viable industry.