The GOC have a mission to tackle plastic in the marine environment to preserve fish stocks




The candidature of the Mauritian Jean-Claude de L'Estrac, currently Secretary-General of the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC *), to take the suite of former Senegalese president, Abdou Diouf, head of the international organisation of la Francophonie (OIF) since 2003 and whose third term ends at the end of November 2014, is supported by the countries of the Indian ocean gathered in the heart of the IOC and also by members of the common market for Eastern and southern Africa (COMESA).

A support displayed publicly at the end of last week at the 29th Council of Ministers of the Commission of the Indian Ocean, which is held in Moroni in the Comoros.

The Government of Mauritius by the voice of his Minister of Foreign Affairs Arvin Boolell, particularly praised the "crucial" support provided by its various organisations and stated that "it is all the Indian Ocean which is being honoured" through the candidature of Jean-Claude de L'Estrac, as reported by the Le Défi Quotidien newspaper.

Jean-Claude de L’Estrac will attempt to run and the general secretariat of la Francophonie on the occasion of the Summit of the Francophonie in Dakar Senegal on 29 and 30 November 2014. 




The Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) is an intergovernmental organization that was created in 1982 at Port Louis, Mauritius and institutionalized in 1984 by the Victoria Agreement in Seychelles. The IOC is composed of five African Indian Ocean nations: Comoros, Réunion (a department of France), Madagascar, Mauritius and Seychelles. Notwithstanding their different characteristics (Reunion as a French department; Mauritius and Seychelles as Middle-Income Countries whereas Comoros and Madagascar are amongst the Least-Developed Countries), the five islands share geographic proximity, historical and demographic relationships, natural resources and common development issues.

IOC’s principal mission is to strengthen the ties of friendship between the countries and to be a platform of solidarity for the entire population of the African Indian Ocean region. IOC’s mission also includes development, through projects related to sustainability for the region, aimed at protecting the region, improving the living conditions of the populations and preserving the various natural resources that the countries depend on. Being an organisation regrouping only island states, the IOC has usually championed the cause of small island states in regional and international fora.





The IOC works on four pillars which have been adopted in 2005 by the Summit of Heads of States:

1. Political and diplomatic cooperation.

2. Economic and commercial cooperation.

3. Sustainable development in a globalization context, cooperation in the field of agriculture, maritime fishing, and the conservation of resources and ecosystems.

4. Strengthening of the regional cultural identity, cooperation in cultural, scientific, technical, educational and judicial fields.

The original ideas were to encourage trade and tourism. Recently, cooperation has focused on marine conservation and fisheries management. The COI has funded a number of regional and national conservation and alternative livelihoods projects through ReCoMAP, Regional Programme for the Sustainable Management of the Coastal Zones of the Countries of the Indian Ocean (PROGECO in French). This project ended in 2011. An example of these projects is project to catalyze the development of sea cucumber and seaweed aquaculture in South West Madagascar with the NGOs, Transmad, Blue Ventures, and Madagascar Holothuria.



Ban Ki-Moon's World Ocean Day message, June 8 2015


WORLD OCEAN DAY MESSAGE, JUNE 8 2015 - Oceans are an essential component of the Earth's ecosystem, and healthy oceans are critical to sustaining a healthy planet. Two out of every five people live relatively close to a shore, and three out of seven depend on marine and coastal resources to survive. Our oceans regulate the climate and process nutrients through natural cycles while providing a wide range of services, including natural resources, food and jobs that benefit billions of people.


Ocean cleaning boat, designed to vacuum up plastic waste


UN CONCERNS ON MARINE LITTER - In the Rio+20 outcome document, marine litter/debris is considered as one of the major concerns as it negatively affects the health of oceans and marine biodiversity, therefore it calls for actions to achieve significant reductions in marine debris by 2025 to prevent harm to the coastal and marine environment (paragraph 163 of The Future We Want). In The Oceans Compact which was launched during the Yeosu Expo 2012, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon further calls upon all countries to set relevant national targets for nutrients, marine debris and waste water to protect people and improve the health of the oceans.

Recalling the concern reflected in “The future we want”, the United Nations Environment Assembly of UNEP at its first session adopted on 27 June 2014 the resolution 1/6 on Marine plastic debris and microplastics.


As part of the drive to clean up our oceans, we hope that projects to target plastics that do get into the oceans, may receive recognition and/or support. One such project is the Cleaner Oceans Project with plans to develop ocean scrubbers based on the 'proof of concept' boat seen above. Contact BMS for more information.




EU partnership with the IOC has been effective for as long as 25 years. The successive EDFs have financed programmes implemented by the IOC to the tune of EUR 100 million, mainly in the area of environment and natural resources. The EU, which is the main development partner of the IOC, accounting for app. 70% of total financial support to IOC, has scaled up its assistance to IOC during the last few years. The EU has three main on-going programmes with the IOC for a total amount of EUR 48 million: The Smartfish programme for the Implementation of a Regional Fisheries Strategy in the Eastern and Southern Africa and Indian Ocean region (ESA-IO region). Its overall objective is to contribute to an increased level of social, economic and environmental development and deeper regional integration in the ESA-IO through the sustainable exploitation of marine and lake fisheries resources; The Islands programme for the Implementation of the Mauritius Strategy for Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) of the ESA-IO region, which will contribute to an increased level of social, economic and environmental development and deeper regional integration through the sustainable development of SIDS in the ESA-IO region. This programme will assist beneficiary countries towards this year's United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development (Rio +20). A grant agreement of EUR 470 000 was recently signed between the EU and the United Nations Department of Economic and Social Affairs for the design and implementation of a Monitoring and Evaluation System to track countries progress in implementing the Mauritius Strategy.

A programme to support the IMF Regional Technical Assistance Centres (AFRITACs) of the ESA-IO, namely AFRITAC East, based in Tanzania, and AFRITAC South, based in Mauritius. The programme's objective is to contribute to the regional economic integration process, and higher growth and poverty reduction in the ESA-IO region. More specifically, the programme aims at improving the design, implementation, and monitoring of sound macroeconomic policies, and enhanced regional harmonisation and integration, in ESA-IO Member States and Regional Organisations. Two grant agreements amounting to EUR 14 675 000 were signed between the EU and the IMF on 17 October 2011 on the occasion of the inauguration of AFRITAC South in Mauritius.

A Start up Project to promote regional maritime security (Start up MASE Project): the Financing Agreement, which amounts to EUR 2 million, was signed on 13 December 2011 by the Secretary General of the Indian Ocean Commission, Callixte d'Offay and Alessandro Mariani, Ambassador, Head of Delegation to Mauritius, for the Seychelles and the Union of Comoros. The objective of the Start up MASE Project is to support the implementation of short term actions of the Regional Strategy and Action Plan against Piracy and for Maritime Security as adopted during the 2nd High Level Regional Ministerial Conference on Maritime Piracy Meeting held on 7 October 2010 in Mauritius and co-chaired by Catherine Ashton, the EU High Representative and Vice President of the European Commission.




HRH THE PRINCE OF WALES  - speaking at a Global Ocean Commission event in Washington DC in March of 2015. The future King of England has consistently kept a weather eye open to help safeguard the marine environment. Prince Charles also met with President Obama on this visit to the USA. The US President is quoted as saying that climate change is one of the greatest threats to security.


The IOC also implements part of two 10th EDF programmes which are under the responsibility of COMESA, namely: The InterRegional Coordination Committee (IRCC) Project to support the Indian Ocean Commission in ensuring its tasks within the IRCC configuration. Activities which have been undertaken by the IOC since February 2011, and will be continued up to August 2012 include: support to the preparation of new projects; support to the strengthening and restructuring of the IOC Secretariat; setting up of the IOC Project Monitoring and Evaluation System; facilitation for the development of an economic strategic plan for IOC; and drawing up of IOC Strategic Development Plan for 2012-2016.

The Regional Integration Support Programme (RISP) which aims at advancing the regional economic integration in the ESA-IO region. The programme is jointly implemented by the COMESA, the EAC, the IGAD and the IOC for a period of three years from July 2010 to June 2013. Under the IOC annual work plans, the focus is on activities to facilitate Member States participation in COMESA regional integration agenda, and in the overall regional integration agenda process, while promoting the specificity of small island states, based on the principle of subsidiarity.

France/Reunion is not a beneficiary of EDF but may participate in programmes via its own funds, and contribute with its expertise in several areas. The collaboration is of primary importance to facilitate a good economic integration of countries and regions pertaining to the same geographical areas. It is pursued vigorously and positively by France/Reunion.



Indian Ocean Commissioners Tourisme 17 Juin 2015


Indian Ocean Commissioners Tourisme 17 Juin 2015




COOPERATION IS ESSENTIAL - The Arabian Sea and Bay of Bengal are not included in the area that the Indian Ocean Commission is looking out for. But the tons of plastic floating in our oceans is a serious problem no matter where you put your finger on any map because the ocean currents carry waste from one area to another continuously.


Any ocean cleanup plan using direct action, as per the SeaVax proposals, need to look at what neighbours are up to, and seek their cooperation to make a strategy workable.


Ninety percent of all trash floating on the ocean’s surface is in the form of plastic materials, with 46,000 pieces of plastic per square mile. Plastic does not biodegrade, it photo-degrades with sunlight, breaking down into smaller and smaller pieces. These plastic pieces are eaten by marine life and eventually works it way up the food chain - as per the diagram below.




INDIAN OCEAN COMMISSIONERS - 28th Board: From left to right: Mr. Didier Robert, President of the Regional Council of Reunion, Mr. Arvin Boolell, Minister of Foreign Affairs, Regional Integration and International Trade of the Republic of Mauritius, Mr Jean Paul Adam, Minister of Foreign Affairs of Seychelles, Mr. James Michel, the President of the Republic of Seychelles, Mr. Mohamed Bakri Ben Abdoulfatah Sharif, Minister of Foreign Affairs and Cooperation, responsible for Diaspora, Francophonie and the World Arab Union of the Comoros, Mr. Joel Morgan, Minister of Internal Affairs and Transport of Seychelles, Mr. Pierrot J. Rajaonarivelo, Foreign Minister of the Republic of Madagascar, Jean Claude de l'Estrac, Secretary General IOC.




Indian Ocean
Blue Tower Commission - 3rd floor
Rue de l'Institut


Tel: (+230) 4026100

Fax: (+230) 4656798




Giant fishing nets are damaging the ocean floor and depleting fish stocks


RICH COUNTRIES PAY ZOMBIES $5 BILLION A YEAR IN SUBSIDIES TO PLUNDER THE OCEANS - The industrial fleet that now drags the high seas for fish has a combined engine power 10 times stronger than it did in 1950. Its nets are so huge that they’re sometimes big enough to hold 12 jumbo jets. And it is largely thanks to this all-out assault on high-seas fishing stocks that two-thirds of those stocks are at the brink of collapse - or well past the edge.









EEAS Europa EU delegations Mauritius regional_integration Indian_Ocean_Commission

Commission Ocean Indien

Wikipedia Indian_Ocean_Commission

Prevention web professional contacts Indian Ocean Commission

IOTC Indian Ocean Tuna Commission

Oceans Beyond Piracy Indian Commission














This website is Copyright © 2015 Bluebird Marine Systems Ltd.   The names Bluebird™, Bluefish™, Miss Ocean™, SeaNet™, SeaVax™ and the blue bird and fish in flight logos are  trademarksCONTACTS   The color blue is a protected feature of the trademarks.


Miss Ocean - a pageant with a purpose