Away From Oil Dependence: Saudi Arabia to develop its Fisheries Sector

by Rahma Haggag

Saudi Minister of Environment, Water, and Agriculture Abdulrahman Al-Fadley said in a conference that was held in Riyadh on Sunday, that the government is eager to develop fish farming. Al-Fadley said that fish farming is one of the fastest-growing food sectors in the world. Moreover, he said that Saudi Arabia is to establish a regional center for fisheries. Saudi Arabia is trying to put so much effort to address food security as it is one of the main issues in the region. Furthermore, the Kingdom is working on developing the seaweed project.

Al-Fadley stated: “We have created initiatives that involve the private sector in developing this sector,” during the opening of the Saudi international Marine and Exhibition Conference or SIMEC.

Furthermore, the ministry is collaborating with many Saudi universities to produce scientific research that may cause several benefits such as decreased production costs and improved export capabilities.

In addition, the director of fisheries and aquaculture division of the UN unit Food and Agriculture Organization, Manuel Barange, talked about the important role that Saudi Arabia could play in the region by producing this scientific research.

Barange stressed the importance of creating a regional hub for fisheries in the Middle East, specifically in the Red Sea area.

Al-Fadley also mentioned the significance of having simple policies that allow investors to participate in the local economy. The kingdom is working with its partners at the Food and Agriculture Organization to promote the development of sustainable marine resources.

SIMEC event in Riyadh gathered many regional and international stakeholders in the fisheries sector to talk about what the region is looking forward to regarding this sector. Finally, under the vision of Saudi Arabia 2030, the government aims to develop different industries to improve the economic diversification away from oil dependence.