European seafood processor Sykes invests US$47.7m in Morocco to establish two processing plants

MOROCCO – Sykes Seafood, British specialist in seafood processing, is seeking to invest €40 million (US$47.7m) in the establishment of two new factories in Northern Morocco over the next two years.

The new facilities will join the company’s large-scale prawn peeling plant in Tangier, operated by Klaas Puul.

The Netherlands-based Klaas Puul, has been operating in Morocco since 1989 and was acquired by Sykes Seafood in 2020, creating a €300m (US$358m) pan-European seafood business.

Klaas Puul specializes in shrimps, prawns, and mussels while Sykes offers both saltwater and freshwater fish.

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Under the new investment, the first facility will be established in Tangier and have a capacity of shelling 7,000 tonnes of shrimp per year.

While the second factory will be situated at Fnideq, occupying 25,000 square meters. It will undertake the shelling, cooking and freezing of a wide range of wild and farmed shrimp.

The plant will also have a complete threading, cutting and packaging facility.

“This installation will allow us to produce products in the immediate vicinity of Europe, and considerably reduce shipping times.

“Shortening the food supply chain has been at the heart of our decision-making and our continued investment in Morocco. We consider Morocco as an essential advantage for us, offering our customers total security of supply,” said Sykes Seafood.

The new investment will bring employment opportunities to Moroccans and boost the economic relations between the country and Europe.

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“We consider Morocco as an essential advantage for us, offering our customers total security of supply.”

Sykes Seafood

The waters of Morocco’s Mediterranean Sea and Atlantic Ocean have served as favourable locations for domestic and foreign fishmongers, as they are rich with sardines, molluscs, and other varieties of quality seafood.

In 2020, the country’s seafood product exports increased by 7% in the first nine months earning MAD 15.3 billion (US$1.66 billion).

Canned sardines were the Morocco’s highest exported product by volume, amounting to 116,850 tonnes worth MAD 3.6 billion (US$389.44 million). This was a 6% annual increase in volume and a 5% increase in value.

The growth in canned sardines’ exports was attributed to increased exportation to Mauritania, the US, and Ghana.

In term of the highest earning exported seafood, frozen mollusks including octopus, recorded a significant annual rise of 28%.

These exports reached a total volume of 83,075 tonnes and a value of MAD 5.1 billion (US$551.71 million).

Fish oil exports on the other hand witnessed the highest annual increase in volume at 40%.

​​ As of September, Morocco exported 32,7400 tonnes of fish oil for a revenue of MAD 553.3 million (US$59.86 million) to France, the Netherlands, and China.

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