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Neom aquaculture venture seeks fish self-sufficiency

Neom aquaculture Unsplash.com
Neom's aquaculture venture with Topian Aquaculture will include a hatchery that is expected to become the largest in the Mena region by the end of 2024

Saudi Arabia’s mega-project Neom has set up a joint aquaculture venture with Tabuk Fisheries Company of Riyadh to meet the kingdom’s goal of producing 600,000 tonnes of fish products annually by 2030.

The companies signed a memorandum of understanding in 2021 to set up Topian Aquaculture.

The new venture will include a hatchery that is expected to become the largest in the Mena region by the end of 2024. It will have a planned capacity of 42 million fingerlings and marine-pen production facilities, with finfish production in the pens projected to reach 20 kilotonnes a year.

Topian, the Neom Food Company, is leading the venture, which aims to support food security and self-sufficiency. 

The project is part of the kingdom’s strategic plan to develop the fisheries sector, which aims to achieve food security and fish products self-sufficiency, said Ali Al-Shaikhi, director general of fisheries at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.

Aquaculture is among the world’s fastest-growing food sectors, as global demand for seafood is predicted to grow by 14 percent by 2030, according to a McKinsey report. 

The joint venture will play a crucial role in mitigating the carbon footprint associated with seafood imports, in addition to protecting the Red Sea’s diverse fish species and bolstering local fish production.

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