Will we see a port worthy of the name again in the south of the country and more particularly in the region of Mahébourg/Vieux-Grand-Port/Bois-des-Amourettes? Over the years, the idea of ​​a second port for Mauritius has been toyed with by successive governments.

This time, a feasibility study will be conducted to explore the possibility of developing a second port in this region. An amount of Rs 15 million has been reserved to be able to enlist a consultant who will carry out this study.

Last year, more precisely in March 2023, the Minister of Fisheries, Sudheer Maudhoo, raised the possibility of developing a new fishing port in Mahébourg. This project should include facilities for the processing and storage of seafood and reserve space in this port for fishermen from the Southeast coast to moor their boats.

But since then, the idea seems to have evolved. This time, the government is thinking bigger. He thus returns to one of his initial ideas. In 2018, the Mauritius Ports Authority (MPA) was looking into developing an action plan for the development of the port of Mahébourg. A call for tenders for the recruitment of a consultant had even been launched.

Port development in Mahébourg was also among the main conclusions and recommendations of the 2016 port master plan. This plan suggested, among other things, using the port of Vieux-Grand-Port for the development of leisure activities, and proposed the construction of a service dock for small artisanal and sport fishing boats. This project was envisaged on the site previously used for sand dredging, near the Vieux Grand Port Battle Memorial.

In addition, the plan proposed the creation of a separate landing services quay to encourage the development of aquaculture in the lagoon of south-eastern Mauritius.

The keynote speech, read by the President of the Republic on June 8, 2010, proposed the reopening of a port in the Mahébourg region. The objective was to ease the pressure on the port of Port Louis. Also at the time, the PTr/MMM/PMSD government announced a feasibility study for this reopening in the South. This initiative would not only provide a welcome respite to Port Louis, but would also contribute to the creation of a new economic hub in this region of the country. But there was no port.

From a historical point of view, the region of Mahébourg/Vieux-Grand-Port, which is bordered by a large bay suitable for maritime trade, was home to the first port of Mauritius. It is also the place of the first landing of the Dutch who established their quarters there. This bay was also the scene of the famous naval battle of Grand-Port in 1810, the only naval victory of the French against the British during the Napoleonic Wars.

Under the governance of Great Britain, the region experienced significant maritime activity with boats delivering goods to supply the south of the country and which were initially transported to Port Louis.

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