Riyadh: Saudi Arabia’s mega project Neom announced Tuesday it has signed a pact with Tabuk Fisheries Company to support the country’s ambitious goal of producing 600,000 tonnes of fish products annually by 2030. Endorsed by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA), the joint venture, Topian Aquaculture, aims to support the National Livestock and Fisheries Development Programme.
The venture will include a hatchery that is expected to become the largest in the MENA region by the end of 2024 and has a planned capacity of 42 million fingerlings and marine pen production facilities, with the production of finfish in the pens projected to reach 20 kt per year.
The joint venture builds on the Memorandum of Understanding between Neom and Tabuk Fisheries Company, signed in 2021. Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of Neom, said, “Topian Aquaculture reflects Neom’s mission to implement innovative solutions that strengthen key industry sectors while mitigating our impact on the environment.”
Aquaculture continues to be the world’s fastest-growing food sector, as global demand for seafood is predicted to grow by 14 per cent by 2030, highlighting the urgency to address the mounting pressure on seas and oceans.
Dr Ali Al-Shaikhi, CEO of the National Livestock and Fisheries Development Program and Director General of Fisheries at MEWA, said Topian’s project supports the Kingdom’s strategic plan to develop the fisheries sector further.
In addition to protecting the Red Sea’s diverse fish species and bolstering local fish production, the joint venture will also play a crucial role in mitigating the carbon footprint associated with seafood imports, the companies said in a joint statement.
Nasser A Al-Sharif, Chairman of Tabuk Fisheries Company, said: “We are excited to bring the joint venture with NEOM to fruition. Tabuk Fisheries Company has built a strong foundation, producing high-quality marine fish for the local market.