The European Union (EU) is leading efforts to promote maritime spatial planning, not only in waters under the jurisdiction of its Member States, but also at global level. In this endeavour, Outermost Regions will play a very special role as outpost and vanguard in the world for EU’s policies, in this case of maritime policy and ocean governance.


Ocean Metiss demonstrates that synergies can be created between EU internal policy instruments, such as the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund, and initiatives to better integrate the EU’s Outermost Regions in their regional neighborhoods, here in the framework of the creation of a sustainable, integrated, long-term strategy for the South West Indian Ocean (SWIO) Basin.


The Commission will support all efforts by project partners to succeed in this undertaking. As Director in charge of Maritime Affairs I am looking forward to the outcomes of this project, as it will show how cooperation among countries, EU and non-EU, sharing a large sea area, is a key factor to implement maritime spatial planning in a sea basin context.

Bernhard Friess

DG MARE, European Commission



The blue economy opens up new outlooks for development in the Indian ocean and in particular for the island of Reunion Island. These prospects include, among others, tourism, fishing and renewable energy sectors. With the growing competition with other major powers (the United States, China and India) developing interest in this maritime region, Reunion has every advantage in developing a “smart strategy” for maritime development.


The OCEAN METISS project was conceived to meet this strategic challenge of blue growth in an outermost region of Europe, with the support of the European Union and in partnership with neighboring countries members of the Indian Ocean Commission. The OCEAN METISS consortium attests to mobilization at all strategic levels by involving the State services, the Regional Council of Reunion and the University of Reunion Island.


OCEAN METISS aims at developing an ambitious marine strategic plan for Reunion Island and will contribute to transparent coastal and sea management based on three pillars: knowledge for society, sustainability and equity. The University of La Réunion is mobilizing an interdisciplinary team of scientists for the OCEAN METISS project and will contribute to training in professions in the field of the blue economy.


President of the University of Reunion Island



French and European territory of the Indian Ocean, the influence of Reunion incontestably passes by the assertion of its maritime opening and the valorization of the activities linked to the blue economy, as sustainable fishing, ecotourism, production of renewable blue energies or green maritime transport.

A vast field of action is taking shape before us. But we must also reflect together on the actions and programs that will enable our island and the Indian Ocean Commission countries to take better advantage of the tremendous opportunities for sustainable management of their ocean.

Because the dynamics of our island, supported and encouraged by the European Union, is now part of a global and shared strategy: I also particularly welcome the mobilization of all our partners, the French State, the University of Reunion and the Indian Ocean Commission.

The stakes are considerable, at the same time economic, social and environmental.

By placing the blue economy at the heart of its development strategy, by choosing to organize it as a real collective project, by focusing on collective intelligence, Reunion Island has chosen the future and sustainable development.


President of the Régional Council of Reunion Island



The issues of the maritime basin southwest of the Indian Ocean are multiple for France, whether to ensure our sovereignty, the development of our economic interests in an exclusive economic zone of 2.8 million km square or the protection of the environment. The implementation of an integrated maritime policy, embedded in the IOC regional environment, is now a necessity. The Ultramarine Basin Marine Council is working on the establishment of a strategy for the sustainable development of the basin, a local declination of the national strategy for the sea and the coast. The complementarities are evident with the marine spatial planning project Ocean Metiss, whose partnership dimension is a guarantee of success. The State and its services are fully mobilized for the success of this unifying and promising project in the field of the blue economy.


Amaury de Saint-Quentin,

Prefect of Reunion Island,

Government Delegate for State Action at Sea

Word of S.E.M. Hamada madi, General Secretary of Indian ocean Commission



As we know, words carry symbols. Such is the case of Ocean Metiss. This project carried by the Reunion Region, the Prefecture and the University of Reunion summarizes the DNA of our island region, oceanic and resolutely Métis.

Through this beautiful name, we also read the will of Reunion to contribute actively to the development of the blue economy that each of the IOC Member States has made a priority.

It is therefore natural for the IOC to become a technical partner alongside Reunion Island in this project which aims at making a dynamic inventory of the factors impacting the economies and ecosystems of Indianoceania and to evaluate the potential for growth and social progress offered by our vast expanses of ocean. Of course, the preservation of the rich and fragile biodiversity of our islands will underlie all activities of the Ocean Metiss project.

IOC has developed recognized expertise in the sustainable management of marine and coastal environments. Over the past thirty years, our regional organization has accumulated knowledge and experience that can usefully feed Ocean Metiss.

The Indian Ocean Large Observatory project implemented with the support of the IRD will be complementary to Ocean Metiss in that it will eventually be able to spread information in the respect of national sovereignty. Similarly, the activities carried out in our Member States in the field of renewable energies, preservation of biodiversity, fisheries and the fight against the effects of climate change, carried out within the framework of projects financed by the European Union, French Development Agency, the French Global Environment Facility or the World Bank, will undoubtedly find a fruitful link with Ocean Metiss. It is in this sense that the IOC intends to technically support this project.