Wednesday 20 Mar 2019 |
AFED Conference 2018
 
KFAS
Environment and development AL-BIA WAL-TANMIA Leading Arabic Environment Magazine

 
 
Selected Articles
 
Developing Fish Resources in the Arab World Tariq Al-Zadjali
07/01/2015
Developing Fish Resources in the Arab World
Tariq Al-Zadjali
 
The Arab World is rich with large fish resources providing health and cheap proteins to Arabs, compared to animal proteins from other resources. Since the Arab World suffers a shortage in grazing and animal feed resources, which limits the capability to expand meat production, it is very important to sustain the contribution of fish resources in providing animal proteins to the Arab food basket; actually, this sector must be developed to sustainably increase its contribution to the Arab food security system.
 
First: Arab Fish Resources Conditions
1- Fish Production
The Arab fish production is estimated at almost 4.2 million tons, 75 percent of which is produced in three countries (Egypt, Morocco and Mauritania). Production from aquaculture amounts to 25 percent of total production in the Arab World, but this percentage is much less from its global counterpart that is estimated at 43.8 percent. Aquaculture is mainly concentrated in Egypt (Table 1).
Table 1. Fish Production in Arab Countries (1,000 tons)
 
Country
2013
Percentage of Total Production
Fisheries
Aquaculture
Total
Egypt
434.9
1,017.7
1,452.6
33.9
Morocco
1,169.4
0.4
1,169.8
27.3
Mauritania
646.7
0.0
646.7
15.1
Oman
195.5
0.2
195.6
4.6
Yemen
146.1
11.8
157.8
3.7
Tunisia
112.8
4.4
117.2
2.7
Algeria
100.4
1.8
102.2
2.4
Saudi Arabia
66.0
26.4
92.3
2.2
Other Arab Countries
312.5
36.6
349.1
8.1
Arab World
3,183.2
1,100.1
4,283.3
100.0
World
90,500.0
70,500.0
161,000.0
 
Sources: The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Arab Agricultural Statistics Yearbook, Volume 33 (Arabic); FAO’s website
 
2-Arab Fish Exports
The fish resources sector in the Arab World achieved a 638.4 million dollar surplus in 2012; the amount increased to 862.58 million dollars in 2013. Six Arab countries contributed together 94.8 percent of Arab fish exports in 2013; these countries are Morocco (59.9 percent), Yemen (11.2 percent), Oman (9.8 percent), Tunisia (7.7 percent), Mauritania (4.4 percent) and Saudi Arabia (1.8 percent).
 
Table 2. Fish Exports of Arab Countries
 
2012
2013
Amount (1,000 tons)
Value (million dollars)
Amount (1,000 tons)
Value (million dollars)
Morocco
383.0
1,641.0
361.0
1,769.8
Yemen
115.3
291.9
130.7
331.1
Oman
114.9
237.6
141.1
289.8
Tunisia
25.3
182.7
32.7
226.8
Mauritania
143.0
119.7
159.5
130.2
Saudi Arabia
28.0
62.1
30.0
54.6
Arab Countries Total
851.5
2,662.6
912.4
2,956.4
Source: The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Arab Agricultural Statistics Yearbook, Volume 33 (Arabic)
 
3- Fish Imports
Despite the Arab World’s export surplus in fish and fish products, a number of Arab countries rely on imports to meet shortages in their domestic production of fish and their products. Such imports include fresh, refrigerated and frozen fish, in addition to salted, smoked and canned fish. The fish imports of Arab countries in 2013 reached 950,240 tons, costing 2.09 billion dollars (Table 3), with an increase of 3.4 percent compared to the 2012 cost. The topmost Arab fish importers are Egypt (26.5 percent), the United Arab Emirates (19.3 percent) and Saudi Arabia (16.0 percent).
 
Table 3. Fish Imports of Arab Countries in 2012 and 2013
 
2012
2013
Amount (1,000 tons)
Value (million dollars)
Amount (1,000 tons)
Value (million dollars)
Egypt
224.6
512.5
249.3
554.6
UAE
151.8
361.5
169.4
403.4
Saudi Arabia
217.9
363.0
216.0
335.21
Lebanon
27.3
132.5
27.7
142.2
Morocco
49.7
148.3
36.3
122.8
Algeria
36.1
86.9
42.0
107.8
Kuwait
22.8
74.4
30.8
100.6
Arab Countries Total
918.1
2,024.1
950.24
2,093.81
Source: The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Arab Agricultural Statistics Yearbook, Volume 33 (Arabic)
 
4- Marketing Systems for Fish and Fish Products
Fish and fish products are marketed domestically in Arab countries through several marketing networks, mainly cooperatives, wholesale markets and open markets (unloading spots). Fish products are sold to wholesalers, who resell the products to intermediaries and retailers before reaching final consumers. In some countries, producers sell products directly to consumers.
Many fish markets in Arab countries are primitive and lack infrastructures, basic services and dealing and conservation facilities. This has negative repercussions on fish quality and value. Marketing systems for fish and fish products in Arab countries face difficulties, problems and restraints, including:
  • ·       Marketing systems themselves are weak and not developed enough to cope with production developments and domestic and foreign market requirements.
  • ·       National legislations regulating fish marketing and trade are weak.
  • ·       Marketing margins are high because marketing networks and tracks are too many and the domination of some traders.
  • ·       Information related to supply and demand in domestic markets is absent.
  • ·       Production is irregular, limiting the capabilities of exporters and hindering adherence to trade commitments.
  • ·       Infrastructures for dealing, conserving and storing products at unloading spots, fishing harbors, markets and sale outlets are weak and derelict.
  • ·       Qualified labor is limited and training programs targeting productive, promotion, marketing and supervisory sectors are weak.
  • ·       Interest in marketing studies and information is weak.
 
5- Fish Processing
Fish processing in Arab countries is of three different kinds depending on technological patterns used:
·       The traditional pattern: Fish is processed on the boats or near unloading spots; fish is salted or dried.
·       The semi-industrial pattern: It includes units to produce salted, dried and smoked fish, alongside canned and frozen fish and fish products (fish powder and oil). This pattern takes place in suitable sanitary conditions and is concentrated in equipment for making smoked, dried, salted and canned fish and fish powder.
  • ·       The industrial pattern: Industrialized methods and advanced equipment are used under special administrative and technical systems, while advanced systems are in place to supervise quality.
  • The most important problems and restraints in fish processing in the Arab countries include:
  • ·       Primitive canning factories and freezing units in many countries.
  • ·       Old processing technologies and a shortage in trained labor and technical expertise.
  • ·       A shortage in raw materials in terms of quantity and quality (fish and sea organisms).
  • ·       Failure to implement the Hazard Analysis and Critical Control Points (HACCP) system.
  • ·       Quality control laboratories are either weak or absent.
  • ·       A shortage in trained technical personnel.
  • ·       A shortage or irregularity in supplying factories.
To develop fish processing processes and their requirements, standardized specifications must be implemented, quality must be controlled, countryside fish processing must be developed, technical training on fish conservation and processing must be boosted to upgrade traditional patterns, and current processing patterns should be modernized.
 
Second: Fish Resources Challenges
Challenges facing fish resources in Arab countries are similar. The most important challenges include:
·       Traditional fishing methods and a technical gap.
·       Focus on coastline fishing because Arab fishing fleets are not equipped to fish in deep waters.
·       Limited or inaccurate special information and statistics on fishing and fish stock.
·       Overfishing and degrading fish stocks.
·       Fishing harbors and unloading spots are limited in number.
·       The fishing sector lacks harbor infrastructures, such as maintenance workshops, cooling stores, etc.
·       Weak institutional and administrative capabilities and a shortage in strategic plans for the fishing resources sector.
·       Weak fish processing capabilities.
·       Weak capabilities in terms of fish quality and aquaculture and weak capability-building processes for human resources in the sector.
·       Weakness in research and in transferring technologies and services in all fields related to developing and exploiting fish resources (fishing, aquaculture, transportation and dealing, processing, quality control, marketing, etc.).
·       Weak financial, technical and organizational capabilities of anglers’ societies.
·       Limited credit facilities offered to anglers by financial institutions.
·       Limited investments by governments and the private sector in the fish resources sector.
 
Third: Development and Investment in the Arab World’s Fish Resources Sector in
Since the chances for developing fishing in the Arab World’s natural fisheries are limited, developing fish resources may have to focus on aquaculture in seawater or inland water bodies. Through this, the Arab World has the capability of increasing its fish products by at least two million tons per year by 2030. Saudi Arabia and Oman, by way of example, not restriction, have ambitious plans and programs with available funds, seeking to boost their fish production capabilities. Sudan also has large inland water bodies but needs a strategic plan to produce fish there, since promoting investment in aquaculture can produce one million tons of fish [annually?].
Developing fish resources and encouraging investment in this sector in the Arab World need:
  • -        Developing laws and legislations related to fishing and aquaculture in Arab countries in order to guarantee sustainability.
  • -        Issuing laws on investment in developing fish resources in natural fisheries and aquacultures.
  • -        A decent increase in investments in the fish resources sector, especially in infrastructures, aquaculture and processing.
  • -        Developing fishing in inland water bodies and freshwater aquaculture.
  • -        Preparing a suitable investment atmosphere and specifying investment opportunities in order to attract investments in fish resources.
  • -        Establishing an Arab or regional mechanism to finance the development of the Arab World’s fish resources sector.
  • -        Enhancing the mechanisms and techniques of investment promotion in the fish resources sector.
  • -        Establishing a reliable database about the sector, including the size of available resources and the degree of their sustainability.
  • -        Providing supportive infrastructures and services, alongside transportation, storing, processing and marketing facilities.
  • -        Building capabilities and developing skills in natural fisheries and aquacultures.
  • -        Encouraging the establishment of joint Arab fish resources production, processing and marketing companies.
  •  
References
AOAD (2014), The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Arab Food Security Conditions, Khartoum, 2014 (Arabic)
AOAD (2013), The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Arab Agricultural Statistics Yearbook, Volume 33, Khartoum, 2013 (Arabic)
AOAD (2011), The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Document of the First Periodical Meeting of Officials and Experts in Research and Transfer of Fishing Techniques in the Arab World, Muscat, December 18-21, 2011 (Arabic)
AOAD (2010a), The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Document of a Consultative Meeting for Experts and the Private Sector about Developing Fish Stocks in the Arab World, 2010 (Arabic)
AOAD (2010b), The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Document of a Project on Assessing Fish Stocks in Inland Lakes in Sudan, (Jebel Aulia Dam, Sennar Lake, Nubia Lake), Khartoum, 2010 (Arabic)
AOAD (2007a), The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, The National Study on Processing and Marketing Fish Products in the Arab World, 2007 (Arabic)
AOAD (2007b), The Arab Organization for Agricultural Development, Document on the Meeting of High-Ranking Officials on Enhancing Capabilities in Fish Processing and Marketing, Rabat, June 25-27, 2007 (Arabic)
FAO (2012), Food and Agriculture Organization, The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture, 2012.
 
Dr. Tariq Al-Zadjali is the director-general of the Arab Organization for Agricultural Development
 
 
 
 
 
Post your Comment
*Full Name
*Comments
CAPTCHA IMAGE
*Security Code
 
 
Ask An Expert
Boghos Ghougassian
fiogf49gjkf0d
Composting
Videos
 
Recent Publications
Financing Sustainable Development in Arab Countries
 
 
 
 
ان جميع مقالات ونصوص "البيئة والتنمية" تخضع لرخصة الحقوق الفكرية الخاصة بـ "المنشورات التقنية". يتوجب نسب المقال الى "البيئة والتنمية" . يحظر استخدام النصوص لأية غايات تجارية . يُحظر القيام بأي تعديل أو تحوير أو تغيير في النص الأصلي. لمزيد من المعلومات عن حقوق النشر يرجى الاتصال بادارة المجلة
© All rights reserved, Al-Bia Wal-Tanmia and Technical Publications. Proper reference should appear with any contents used or quoted. No parts of the contents may be reproduced in any form by any electronic or mechanical means without permission. Use for commercial purposes should be licensed.