Ocean Economy

La Réunion

In addition to artisanal and recreational fisheries, Réunion has long served as a base for industrial fishing, as its waters are known for being rich with lobsters and cold-water fish species like the Patagonian tooth-fish. These two species are important contributors to the local economy[1].

In February 2017, in the wake of the European Union’s 2012 “Blue Growth” report, France adopted the National Strategy for the Sea and Coast – Decree 2017-222 of February 23rd, 2017 , which outlined French economic and ecological ambitions and set out four specific objectives: the ecological transition, the development of the blue economy, the good environmental status of the marine environment and the preservation of the coastline, and the extension of France’s influence.

The strategy also provides a general framework for a declination at the level of each sea basin, adapted to the specificities and issues of the space concerned, through a strategic document, which includes the planning of maritime spaces.


Mayotte is surrounded by a barrier reef with a productive yet increasingly threatened lagoon which contributes the bulk of the 1,100 km2 inshore fishing area in Mayotte’s 63,000 km2 Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ)[2]. Increased tourist activities such as scuba diving, whale watching, and recreational fishing also provide further incentives for marine protection measures and create alternative job opportunities for locals[3].

The Iles Eparses

No economic activity takes place on any of the Iles Eparses.  The total population of around 40 is composed of military personnel and meteorological station staff[4].

 Pauly, D. & Zeller, D., 2016. Global Atlas of Marine Fisheries: A Critical Appraisal of Catches and Ecosystem Impacts. s.l.:Island Press.

[2] Sea Around Us | Fisheries, Ecosystems and Biodiversity. Seaaroundus.org. (2020). Retrieved 31 March 2020, from http://www.seaaroundus.org/.

[3] Guézel R, Quartararo A, Aboutoihi L, Saindou K, Salaün P, Ybrahim B and Arnaud JP (2009a) Richesses de Mayotte — Parc naturel marin de Mayotte — Les hommes et l’océan — Mission d’étude pour la création d’un parc naturelmarin à Mayotte. Agence des Aires Marines Protégées (AAMP), Mamoudzou (Mayotte). 72 p.

[4] Le, Matthieu & And, Corre & Safford, Roger. (2001). La Réunion and Iles Eparses.