Algeria to invest in aquaculture
Algeria is looking to improve its seafood supply chain by investing in new seafood wholesale markets as well as new aquaculture operations.
At a cost of DZD 480 million (USD 6.6 million, EUR 4.9 million), the Algerian government this week announced that it will build 13 seafood wholesale markets by 2015 and pump millions more into fish farm projects.
The investments will “help reorganize the commercialization circuit,” said Algerian Fisheries Minister Smail Milmoun in a recent radio interview.
Set against the backdrop of rising seafood prices as demand outstrips supplies, Milmoun underlined the government’s support for aquaculture.
“Aquaculture is a new supply line in Algeria that will compliment maritime fishing,” he said.
Milmoun said that Algeria is authorized to catch 220,000 metric tons of fish annually, providing each inhabitant with about 6 kilograms of fish. However, the population rises each year, while the fishing quota remains the same, he said. Fish farms, he said, could help bridge the supply gap.
According to local media reports, Milmoun has earmarked DZD 2.4 billion (USD 33.1 million, EUR 24.4 million) for fish farm projects.
Working in partnership with Spain and South Korea, Algeria is planning to launch 22 pilot fish farms that raise mussels, oysters and prawns, among other species.
It appears that foreign investment in Algerian aquaculture is also welcome; Milmoun is cited as saying that the state would not “disengage itself from supporting investors keen to launch themselves in this new supply line in Algeria.”
According to the most recent figures from the Food and Agriculture Organization, Algerian aquaculture production increased year-on-year from 250 metric tons in 1999 to 641 metric tons in 2004, with the exception of 2003 when droughts caused output to drop to 240 metric tons; 90 percent of the production is freshwater fish such as common carp, Chinese carp and flathead grey mullet.