The Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture revealed progress in self-sufficiency in fish production, as it aims to increase the per capita fish consumption from 9 to 13 kilograms annually.
The ministry said on Monday that fish production in Saudi Arabia increased from 32,000 tons in 2016 to 119,000 tons until the end of 2022, confirming that it reached 59 percent of fish wealth self-sufficiency.
The Saudi Ministry of Environment, represented by the National Fisheries Development Program, marked World Fisheries Day, which falls on Nov. 21, with an event that was held at the ministry’s headquarters.
The ministry stated that the fisheries sector witnessed great development during the last period, leading to several achievements, including the development of 20 fishing facilities.
“We aim to reach 82 facilities during the next phase,” the ministry announced, noting that the number of fish farming projects increased from 67 to 235 projects in marine and inland waters and closed systems within the Kingdom.
The ministry also said that it was seeking to encourage capacity development, support small fishermen, empower the private sector and increase its contribution to the GDP, in accordance with the objectives of Vision 2030.
The ministry emphasized its efforts to develop infrastructure and investment opportunities in the sector, provide job opportunities for citizens, and raise the quality of production to compete in global markets, in addition to localizing the fishing profession and enabling more than 2,000 fishermen to practice the activity in the Kingdom.
It added that Saudi fish commodities were exported to more than 35 countries around the world.
For his part, CEO of the National Fisheries Development Program Dr. Ali Al Shaikhi said that the celebration of World Fisheries Day comes to emphasize the importance of marine and healthy ecosystems and the importance of securing sustainable fish stocks around the world.
He added that Saudi Arabia’s efforts in the field of fisheries contributed to the promotion and development of the sector at the local, regional and international levels.
Al Shaikhi revealed that the Kingdom has been elected to chair the 36th Session of the UN Food and Agriculture Organization’s fisheries committee to be held in Rome in 2024.
He noted that the committee voted unanimously for the Kingdom in recognition of its leading role in supporting international efforts to promote sustainable fishing and aquaculture.