||The collection of oceanographic data not only enables us to understand the ocean and the climate system but also helps us make the proper decisions for sustainable development and management of ocean resources. This is especially crucial for Small Island Developing States, including the Republic of Mauritius that rely heavily on their ocean resources themselves threatened by changes in climate and ocean conditions. Similarly, the development of sustainable ocean-related business activities including a mari-culture industry, which is a growing sector in many developing countries, also requires a good understanding of the ocean.
Following the Budget Speech 2016-2017, the Government has reiterated its strong intent of making the Ocean, a pillar of its Economy and has tasked the MOI with the responsibility of fully characterising the aquaculture sites around mainland Mauritius. MOI has therefore re-aligned its Strategic Plan with the Government Vision, and its prime focus is now on the characterization of coastal and open waters of the Mauritian EEZ.
After its establishment in 2000 and through the various projects initiated since, the MOI has been generating large amounts of oceanographic data. These data include physical, biological and chemical measurements derived from in situ oceanographic observations. The parameters include: temperature, conductivity, salinity, pH, turbidity, current/sea surface current pattern, water density and pressure, wave and tide, bathymetry, beach topography/relative elevation, total dissolved solids, cations / anions, 222Radon concentration, nutrient concentrations, heavy metals, fluorescence, genetic information on selected marine organisms (DNA), information on sponges, etc.