India: Indian navy ship INS Nirdeshak has set sail for Mauritius for a hydrographic survey mission in accordance with a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Mauritian Government. The ship is likely to operate in Mauritian waters for about four weeks. In addition to hydrographic survey of important ports, harbours and designated sea areas around the islands, the MoU encompasses training of Mauritian hydrographic personnel at National Institute of Hydrography in Goa and provision of expertise for setting up of a hydrographic infrastructure at Mauritius.
During the last four years the Indian Navy in Mauritian waters has conducted about ten hydrographic surveys, including those for Mauritian capital Port Louis harbour, Port Mathurin in Rodrigues Island, Carajos Cargados Shoals and Agalega Island. It is noteworthy that before the survey by the Indian Navy, Agalega was last surveyed over 100 years ago.
As a result of the sustained hydrographic assistance, four navigational charts of Mauritian waters have been produced and handed over, which is likely to give a boost to their sea trade. The survey will also be assisting land based ocean industries being set up in Mauritius. It will also include collection of supporting data for the continental shelf claims of Mauritius. Surveys related to the development of the tourism industry in the islands are also conducted.