Vessel launch heralds new era in Australia-Mauritius relations

Vessel launch heralds new era in Australia-Mauritius relations

Investigator II, a new multi-purpose support vessel constructed by Steber International was co-funded by the Australian and Mauritian governments to assist in research of the blue economy.

The vessel was officially launched by Mauritian Prime Minister, the Hon. Pravind Jugnauth in the presence of Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping, the Hon. Sudheer Maudhoo and Australian’s High Commissioner to Mauritius, HE Ms Jenny Dee.

The 61`ft Investigator II is the third vessel Steber International has built for the government of Mauritius. It will be operated by the Fisheries Development and Training Division of the department and also be used by the Mauritius Oceanography Institute, Mauritius Maritime Training Academy and other government institutions to support training and research in the blue economy.

Speaking at the launch, Mr Maudhoo said: “The acquisition of Investigator II is coming at an opportune time when my ministry is taking measures to enhance fish production through sustainable exploitation of untapped resources especially on the banks.

The boat is fitted with sophisticated equipment to carry out acoustic surveys for the stock assessment of unexploited demersal fish on the banks and slopes dropoffs”.

Ms Dee said: ” We are excited to be launching this multi-purpose vessel with the government of Mauritius at a time when our two countries are celebrating 50 years of diplomatic relations and looking ahead at new collaborations.

As partners in the Indian Ocean, the blue economy is a key area of interest for Australian and Mauritian relations and the arrival of this vessel reinforces Australia’s commitment to working with Mauritius in this area.

The sustainable use of marine resources is critical for inclusive economic growth an sustainable development in the Indian Ocean region, and hinges on strong regional co-operation”.

Steber International general manager, Alan Steber said: ” It’s been almost 15 years since the last Westcoaster was made in Western Australia and we’ve worked hard to improve and redevelop the original design.

Australia is assisting Mauritius to develop the blue economy and Investigator II is a prime example of that co-operation”.