According to the Maritime Zones Act 2005, natural resources refer to minerals and other non-living materials found in the subsoil and seabed and the marine organisms in a sedentary state, that is, they are unfit for movement when they are harvested or depend on water or soil movement for displacement .
The island of Mauritius emerged from the sea about 7-10 million years ago; four volcanic episodes created the land mass that we can now see. Each phase created a different layer of minerals, starting from the oldest to the most recent: 
Deep-sea drilling of the ocean floor reveals the presence of polymetallic nodules in the Indian Ocean. It is estimated that these nodules have a coverage of about 10-15 million km2, weighing about 1.5×1011 tonnes, across the whole of the Indian Ocean .
Mauritius is located in the West Indian Ocean Basin; geomorphological analyses of the seabed near Mauritius report numerous seamounts and guyots (flat based mountains), trenches and fractures . All these different structures influence the type of minerals that can possibly be found in the areas close to Mauritius.
Recently, new discoveries suggest that Mauritius may be lying on a part of an oceanic crust or microcontinent called ‘Mauritia’. The land mass broke off Madagascar during plate separation 65 million years ago but finally sunk to the bottom . Being made of continental granite, mineral content in this layer could be fascinating. Detrital zircons have already been found in the granitic rock as lava-plumes have brought minerals to the surface .
Shallow water species that have been identified include the:
To date, 8,000 sedimentary marine organisms have been documented in the Western Indian Ocean shallow waters . A comprehensive study of the marine creatures on the ocean floor is still to be made as deep sea exploration is quite difficult to undertake.
In 2011, 6 new sea creatures were discovered in vents in the South West Indian Ocean floor . More recently, oil and gas reserves have been detected near Seychelles . All these discoveries suggest that the deep ocean floor around Mauritius may be hiding a lot of amazing treasures.
Category: Marine Environment Tags: black smoker zones, breccia series, continental shelf, echinoderms, ferromanganese crust, fractures, Gonwana, guyots, hydrothermal vents, maritime zones act 2005, mauritia, mauritius, microcontinent, midocean ridge, minerals, natural resources, polymetallic nodules, polymetallic sulphides, seabed, sedentary organims, subsoil, trenches, volcanic episodes, volcano
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