Aquaculture in MENA region growing at 7% annually


The aquaculture market in the MENA region has witnessed impressive growth in the past decade and is set to grow at an accelerated pace. The market is expected to witness production volume of 2.9 million tons by 2030.

A recent report by Ventures Middle East cites growing population, geographical advantage, private sector investment and government support as major drivers of aquaculture productivity in the region. Initiatives and incentives are being established by the governments in different regions of MENA to harvest the potential of aquaculture. However, some of the challenges such as sustainability and volatility of the industry are yet to be overcome by the government.

Aquaculture in the MENA region is fairly new and underdeveloped in most countries. However, due to the global and local need for sustainable fish supplies, most governments in the region are now taking steps to stimulate and accelerate the growth of aquaculture in the region. The aquaculture and capture production quantities grew at a CAGR of 7% between 2011 and 2015.

The outlook for aquaculture in the MENA region is very good. USD 15 billion worth of projects in aquaculture in the UAE are in pipeline over the course of the next decade. By 2021, the UAE Ministry of Climate Change and Environment (MOCCAE) expects to exponentially grow aquaculture production to 36,000 tons annually.

His Excellency Dr. Thani Ahmed Al Zeyoudi, UAE Minister of Climate Change and Environment, told us:

Aquaculture has long been considered a viable option in the UAE as a sustainable way to reduce the burden on wild fish stocks as well as decrease reliance on imports. Major projects such as the Sheikh Khalifa Marine Research Centre and Hatchery facilities in Umm Al Quwain will provide the research needed to fully develop the country’s aquaculture industry and play a major role by providing sustainably-produced, eco-traceable juveniles of commercial aquaculture species to support the aquaculture industry in the country and as a result we can expect to see significant growth in this sector. Hosting events in the UAE such as AquaME, the region’s largest dedicated aquaculture event, will give the industry further opportunity to develop, share knowledge and grow.

Elsewhere in the region, the government of Saudi Arabia has invested USD 10.6 billion in an effort to reach an annual production of 6 million tons by 2030. In 2014, Oman issued 19 licenses for aquaculture worth USD 333.6 million and intends to attract investment of USD 100 million for the initial phase of its 2012 Aquaculture Development Plan.

The aquaculture industry is expected to be the major source of sustainable and renewable nutrition supplies over the years to come. As per the estimations by the World Bank, by 2030, 62% of the global fishery supply will be from aquaculture. Production of nutritious and affordable fishery products through aquaculture, in order to meet the increasing consumer demand, is expected to ensure food security and catalyze industry growth.

AquaME, the Middle East’s largest event dedicated to the aquaculture industry, will take place in April, and is the ideal event to meet local and international exhibitors and conduct meetings to explore business opportunities in this buoyant market.

AquaME runs alongside the AgraME and VetME exhibitions, dedicated to the agriculture and veterinary industries.

Registrations are now open, visit:

Show dates: April 10 – 12, 2017

Venue: Dubai World Trade Centre

For more information visit –

or contact  Josse Dulka, Group Communications Manager | Global Exhibitions –


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March 24 (Friday), 2017 |

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