Back to Bizweek
Latest News

inister of BlueEconomy, MarineResources, Fisheries, and Shipping

“Port Louis is the economic driver. It is critical that it is protected from all possible threats”

“9/11 happened more than 20 years ago, but today, in 2024, the Indian Ocean region faces many traditional and non-traditional safety and security challenges, including piracy, armed robberies at sea, terrorism, human trafficking, irregular movement of persons, drugs trafficking, illicit trafficking in wildlife, trafficking of weapons, crimes in the fisheries sector such as IUU fishing, degradation of ocean health, unlawful exploitation of marine resources, and climate change with its related repercussions on environmental security,” the Mauritian Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, and Shipping said last Tuesday.

Sudheer Maudhoo was delivering a speech on the occasion of a Training Course on Port Security Risk Assessment held at Les Suites Dock 2, United Docks Business Park, Port Louis. He seized the opportunity to remind of the pressing need for bolstering maritime security in the Indian Ocean region. He also emphasised the necessity for comprehensive capacity building across all countries in the region to effectively tackle these challenges, and stressed that such capacity building efforts would lead to enhanced cross-border cooperation, knowledge sharing, and adoption of best practices to ensure a peaceful, stable, and prosperous maritime domain.

The Minister lauded initiatives like the Port Security and Safety of Navigation in Eastern and Southern Africa and the Indian Ocean programme, which has been instrumental in advancing maritime security objectives since its inception in 2020. However, he acknowledged the financial and expertise constraints faced by many developing countries, hindering their ability to fully implement international maritime regulations such as the ISPS Code.

The crucial role of the European Union Port Security Programme


To address these challenges, the IMO has established an Integrated Technical Cooperation Programme (ITCP) aimed at assisting countries, particularly those in Africa, Small Island Developing States (SIDS), and Least Developed Countries (LDCs), in building human and institutional capacities for compliance with the Organization’s regulatory framework,” Minister Maudhoo explained.


He also mentioned the crucial role of the European Union Port Security Programme in promoting and strengthening port security and maritime safety management systems in the region. He emphasized the alignment of these efforts with overarching regional strategies such as the African Integrated Maritime Strategy (AIMS 2050) and the Southern African Development Community (SADC) Regional Indicative Strategic Development Plan 2020-2030.


In reference to Mauritius, Minister Maudhoo detailed the progress made under the European Union Port Security Programme, including the completion of a port facility security assessment in Port Louis in 2022. He commended the collaboration with international partners, particularly the IMO, in enhancing maritime security through training and capacity-building initiatives.


The Minister of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries, and Shipping expressed his gratitude to the European Union, the IMO, and all participants for their contributions towards advancing maritime security in the region. He reiterated the importance of fostering a culture of security awareness within the maritime workforce to safeguard critical assets like the port of Port Louis.


The port of Port Louis is the economic driver of the nation. It is critical that it is protected from any and all possible threats. We believe that this will be achieved by building a culture of security awareness within our workforce, and the types of training being dispensed will surely help our people to sense security threats. The cornerstone of IMO regulations to address maritime security is the International Convention for the Safety of Life at Sea (SOLAS) chapter XI-2, Special Measures to enhance maritime security, which makes mandatory the International Ship and Port Facility Security Code (ISPS Code). The ISPS Code is a comprehensive set of measures which enhance the security of ships and port facilities, developed in response to several incidents such as the Achille Lauro hijacking in the Mediterranean in 1985, the bombing of the USS Cole in Aden Harbour, Yemen, in 2000, and the 9/11 terrorist attacks in the United States. The ISPS Code contains detailed security-related requirements for Governments, port authorities and shipping companies, and is designed to install confidence in the shipping industry from the perspective of the shipper and the port,” he stated.

Risk Assessment of Port Facilities
A Training by IMO in Mauritius

Risk assessment of port facilities is an indispensable exercise that not only ensures the safety of port areas, but also bolsters their competitiveness. Recognizing its significance, the International Maritime Organization (IMO) teamed up with the Mauritian Ministry of Blue Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Navigation to conduct a specialized training course on this subject.

The training took place from 05 to 08 February 2024 in Port-Louis, Mauritius. It was part of the Port Security and Safety of Navigation Programme (PSP), an initiative coordinated by the Indian Ocean Commission (IOC) and financially backed by the European Union (EU).

Approximately thirty officers from various entities participated in the training. Participants included representatives from the Mauritius Police Force, the Mauritius Port Authority, the National Coast Guard, Customs, the Ministries responsible for Maritime Transport and the Environment, and private operators in the maritime and port sector.

Captain Coopen, Director of Maritime Transport, underscored the central role of training as a crucial stepping stone in addressing maritime safety challenges, while Mourad Ghorbel, Technical Officer of the IMO’s Maritime Safety Division, emphasized the critical importance of port security risk assessment and inter-agency collaboration. These elements are vital in alignment with international frameworks in force, notably those related to maritime security, combating illicit trafficking and crime, salvage operations, and prevention and reduction of pollution risks.

Mr Ghorbel also highlighted the significance of the training, which will assist port authorities and related agencies in implementing the ISPS Code. He explained, “The ISPS Code introduced for the first time an ‘all-risks approach’ to maritime security. It provides a national framework for maritime administrations, with key requirements including the need for Port Facility Security Assessments and Plans, Ships Security Assessments and Plans, Port Facility and Ship Security Officers, and the setting of ISPS Code Security Levels.


In August 2022, an IMO mission resulted in the creation of robust security plans for port facilities, which are gradually being implemented.

Skip to content