FENIP backs increased fish production in Morocco
Private fishing and aquaculture companies in Morocco are working together with the Moroccan Ministry of Agriculture and Marine Fisheries to increase access to financing, diversify export markets, and boost sustainable production of seafood to ensure the country maintains and improves its global competitive advantage.
The Federation of Industries of Transformation and Promotion of Fishery Products (FENIP), which brings together various industry associations that are engaged in fish packaging, canning, fish meal and oil, freezing and semi-canning along the entire fish value chain, also says strengthening of public-private partnership would ensure Morocco’s fishing industry keeps to international market regulations and requirements that have driven demand for the country’s fish and fish products in markets such as Europe, the United States, and other African countries.
“We support the private fishing industry players to promote their products, to access financing and also get necessary international certification that keeps them globally competitive,” FENIP Director Lamiaa Znagui told SeafoodSource at the Seafex 2019 Expo in Dubai.
Znagui said the Moroccan fisheries and aquaculture export market “has been constantly growing in the last five years reaching to more than 136 destinations around the world.”
“We have noted an increase in domestic fish and fish products consumption in Morocco and we have had to import some of our fish, particularly to meet our processing requirements,” said Znagui. She said local fish consumption now exceeds 12 kilograms per person annually and could surpass the government target of 16 kilograms by the end of 2020.
FENIP, with an estimated 300 members, has stepped up support for production and processing initiatives by its affiliates to meet regulatory requirements for exports, such as certificate of capture and fish and aquaculture health conditions, which has made it easier for Morocco to expand access to the European market, where it sells up to 95 percent of its fish exports. In return, the European Union has been a leading partner in developing Morocco’s fisheries and aquaculture sector.
Currently, Morocco, which is the world’s leading producer of sardine pilchardus, is focusing on expanding its canning and freezing value chains in addition to implementing the country’s “Halieutis Plan,” which aims to increase aquaculture production to about 200,000 metric tons in coming years.
Previous figures by the United Nations’ Food and Agriculture Organization estimated Morocco’s fish production from its two seaboards of the Mediterranean and Atlantic at 1.65 million tons, with total value of more than USD 1 billion (EUR 896 million). The ongoing Halietus program is expected to push up exports to USD 3.1 billion (EUR 2.8 billion) by 2020 and increase the percentage of seafood produced through sustainable means to 95 percent.
Photo courtesy of Shem Oirere/SeafoodSource