In a significant move to boost its aquaculture industry, Morocco has successfully acquired a groundbreaking marine fish hatchery project worth US$12.3 million. This milestone marks the country’s first step towards stimulating the aqua production sector, which has faced challenges in gaining momentum in recent years.
Mohamed Sadiki, the Minister of Agriculture, Fisheries, Rural Development, Water, and Forests, shared his optimism about the new hatchery’s potential impact. The facility is expected to produce an impressive 30 million fingerlings of various fish species, including sea bream, bass, meagre, and other farmed fish, catering to the needs of national aquaculture farms.
Minister Sadiki emphasized the critical role of fingerling production in ensuring the viability of fish farming projects. He explained, “The production of fingerlings is considered an essential integration lever to secure the viability of aquaculture projects specializing in fish farming.” The hatchery project has garnered state financial support in the form of an investment premium specifically earmarked for the purchase of hatchery equipment, demonstrating the government’s commitment to fostering the aquaculture sector’s growth.
The Regional Investment Centre of the Tangier-Tetouan-Al Hoceima region has played a pivotal role in facilitating the acquisition of necessary permits and supporting the National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture in implementing this groundbreaking project.
The “Halieutis” plan, which showcases a remarkable commitment to the fisheries sector, has been the driving force behind this new venture. Under this strategic initiative, Morocco aims to bolster its fish production and develop the marine fisheries sector in a balanced, qualitative, and sustainable manner. Minister Sadiki underscored the plan’s significance, stating, “The construction of this commercial marine fish hatchery is part of the national ‘Halieutis’ 2020 plan, which focuses on the preservation of fishery resources and the marine ecosystem through the promotion of national fish consumption, the increase in the number of jobs related to the industry and agriculture, and the strengthening of the contribution of the fisheries sector to the national economy.”
Majida Maarouf, the director of the National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture, expressed her enthusiasm for the project, as it aligns perfectly with the agency’s strategies. She emphasized the commitment to providing a suitable platform for investment in the aquaculture sector, which has been witnessing significant and tangible developments as part of Morocco’s long-term policy in this domain.
This ambitious project not only seeks to boost the national economy through the marine fisheries sector but also aims to preserve natural resources and contribute to the sustainable development of aquaculture. Fisheries and aquaculture are vital economic sectors in Morocco, with the country ranking 13th worldwide and holding the top position in Africa for fish production in the previous year.
According to a report from Morocco’s National Fisheries Office (ONP), nearly 5,000 tons of fishing products have been sourced from Mediterranean ports. While there was a slight decrease of 13% in the quantity of products, the value witnessed a commendable 9% increase in 2022. This underscores the sector’s resilience and the government’s dedication to further enhancing the nation’s presence in the global aquaculture landscape.
With the successful acquisition of the US$12.3 million fish hatchery project, Morocco is poised to strengthen its aquaculture industry significantly. The country’s commitment to sustainable development, resource preservation, and economic growth is evident through this groundbreaking venture. As the hatchery project comes to fruition, it holds the promise of boosting fish production, providing employment opportunities, and ultimately propelling Morocco to the forefront of the aquaculture sector globally.
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