MOROCCO – Morocco is planning inject MAD 13 million (US$1.4 million) for the establishment of a packaging factory and valuation units for aquaculture products in Imi Ouaddar, Souss-Massa.
To feed the facility it will need more than 9,000 tons of shellfish and seaweed per year and it is set to create some 25 direct jobs.
According to reports by Morocco World, the project is in line with the country’s strategy of promoting and developing aquaculture, a growing industry in Souss-Massa.
The region has more than 4,000 hectares dedicated to fish production spread across four zones.
Souss-Massa currently has around two dozen aquaculture projects in development, notably shellfish farming in Imi Ouaddar, Imsouane, and Tifnit, and with seaweed farming in Sidi Rbat.
Aquaculture being a lucrative economic activity in the country, the port of Morocco’s southern city of Dakhla landed more than 605.34 million tons of fish in 2019, with an overall value of MAD 2.25 billion (US$227 million).
This represents an increase of 0.82% in value and 2.93% in weight compared to one year earlier.
In 2018, fishermen landed 587.58 million tons of fish in the port, worth over MAD 2.23 billion (US$225 million).
According to Maghreb Arab Press, the country has significant fishing potential, representing 65% of the national usable potential i.e. 80% pelagic fish and 20% demersal fish.
Several economic and infrastructure assets have helped in the sector’s growth, including two ports and a third under construction, six fishing villages equipped with fish markets, a maritime qualification center and a regional center of the National Fisheries Research Institute (INRH).
Recently the Netherlands and Norway contributed US$2.5 million to fund installation of a training station for fish and shellfish production in the southern province of Sidi Ifni.
The project targets to train local aquaculture technicians and providing them with professional training for upcoming projects set to launch along the country’s Mediterranean and Atlantic coasts.
In addition to that, it falls within Morocco’s fishing strategy, “Halieutis” which is set to create new industrial platforms and improve the professional management of the country’s fishery resources.
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