The Mauritius Oceanography Institute (MOI), was established
in January 2000 by the proclamation of the MOI
Act (Act No. 24 of 1999). The need to rationalise and
co-ordinate research and development activities related to
Oceanography was the motive for the setting up of the MOI.
Economic Zone (EEZ) of the Republic of Mauritius extends
over an area of about 1.9 million square kilometres and provides
Mauritius with a huge maritime zone to manage. This coastal
and ocean territory holds an immense potential for development
and will play a vital role in the economic development of Mauritius.
Mauritius occupies a strategic position in the
Indian Ocean and has the potential to play an important role
in marine science research in this region. The MOI undertakes scientific research in collaboration with local and
international institutions to contribute to the regional
and global matrix of oceanographic science.
Like many other small island developing states,
Mauritius faces the problem that land-based development has
the potential to adversely impact the marine coastal environment.
A major responsibility of the MOI is to monitor the marine
environment around Mauritius, Rodrigues and the Outer Islands,
and advise the Government on appropriate policies and strategies
for the intelligent management of the living and non-living
resources under its jurisdiction.
Another important task of MOI is to assist the Government of Mauritius in formulating a claim to the UN Commission on the Limits of the Continental Shelf for an extension of the marine jurisdiction of the Republic of Mauritius. The acquisition of bathymetry and geophysical data necessary to substantiate this submission were completed in June 2002.
Mauritius made a joint submission with Seychelles over the Saya de Malha Bank and its adjoining areas at the beginning of December 2008.Two additional submissions were made to the UNCLCS in May 2009.