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Saudi Aquaculture Investments to Reach SR60 Billion

04 December 2013

SAUDI ARABIA - Investments on aquaculture projects will be increased from their current level of SR20 billion to SR60 billion to produce one million tons of fish products in the next 16 years, a senior official of the Ministry of Agriculture was quoted as saying.

According to, Jabir Al-Shihri , ministry undersecretary for fishery affairs, admitted that they are suffering from poor situation of fisheries in the Arabian Gulf and Red Sea which led them to depend on aquaculture in the future.

He said the countries used to meet and explore fish reserves in the Arabian Gulf waters and how to manage them. Likewise, there is an organization concerned with the Red Sea and Gulf of Aden which regularity meets and explores fish reserve situation, fishing techniques and how to protect fauna and flora of the Red Sea, he said.

The ministry official termed aquaculture as new and advanced industries. He expressed hope they would provide a global model in this regard, as did Norway and Chile, where they could produce one million tons of fish per year.

Most of aquaculture projects will come in the form of cages in sea waters close to the shore from where the fish will be transferred to nearby processing facilities and prepared for local and international marketing, he said.

The aquaculture sector receives enormous support from the government and being funded by the Agricultural Development Fund (ADF), he added. Last week, the Ministry official said the Kingdom is currently producing 100,000 tons of fish annually while its consumption stands at 285-300,000 tons annually, which simply means production narrowly covers one third of consumption.

He said the Kingdom is, through an initiative made by the ADF in cooperation with the Ministry of Agriculture and other government agencies, set to introduce new fisheries and aquaculture industries to raise production gradually from 100,000 tons in 2013 to one million tons by 2029.

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