Under the patronage of the Saudi Ministry of Environment, Water & Agriculture (MEWA), the National Fisheries Development Program have organized the Saudi International Marine Exhibition and Conference (SIMEC) from January 30th, until February 1st, 2022. The event consist of an exhibition where various representatives of the marine and fisheries field in United Arab Emirates (UAE) come together to meet and a conference to discuss the new developments and emerging issues focusing on aquaculture, marine fisheries and other topics.
Among others, the SIMEC main objectives are to provide an annual platform for professional and scientific discussion between fisheries sector and key players; to promote domestic and foreign investment in aquaculture sector; to establish connection with key local decision makers in fisheries and other associated industries; and also, to showcase state -of- the art marine products and cutting- edge aquaculture technologies.
The central question for fishing firms and policymakers meet in Riyadh, is how to boost the amount of seafood the Kingdom draws from its 2,400 km coast fivefold by the end of the decade?
Private sector will play a big role
Emirati minister of climate change and environment Maryam Almheiri has urged in the inauguration of the SIMEC for infrastructure investments to develop the region’s aquaculture sector, particularly highlighting the role of technology in unlocking its potential.
“In the UAE, we have important projects in this sector that adopt modern technology for fish farming,” the minister said during the SIMEC event, which gathers stakeholders in the fisheries sector, in Riyadh.
Modern technology has been allowing the UAE to produce tens of thousands of kilograms of salmon every month — in a controlled environment that mimics the conditions of Norway, the biggest salmon producer in the world.
“The UAE minister talked about her country’s efforts to develop both wild catch and aquaculture sectors, including implementing frameworks to ensure sustainable gains.”
The private sector will play a big role in this endeavor, Almheiri emphasized, encouraging better access to financing and more reliable supply chain from production to consumption.
Almheiri, urged Abu Dhabi‘s investment in infrastructure for the development of the aquaculture sector. She particularly emphasized the role of technology in unlocking its potential and the UAE’s forward thinking in sustainable development.
“The environmental conditions are unfavorable to aquaculture in the UAE, where desert dominates three quarters of the territory and fresh water is scarce, but Abu Dhabi has nevertheless partnered closely with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) in the field of fish farming around an big development project.“
The Emirates aim not only to make aquaculture more energy efficient but also to offer it a more viable dimension in economic terms. This comes at a time when demand for fish and interest in local production is growing in the country.
Innovative technologies enable the country to supply fish
Modern technology is the key to sustainable UAE aquaculture production. It should rapidly enable the country to supply fish and improve its food security.
However, specialists have found innovative solutions for fish farming, including water recycling systems that not only conserve precious fresh water but also create ideal conditions for fish farming. And this, even in a desert environment! Computer monitoring systems are also mobilized to continuously monitor water temperature, quality, and oxygen levels.
“As a result, local production of organic Atlantic salmon, grouper, sea bass and caviar could reach 30,000 tons per month by 2030.“
The UAE’s global strategy includes numerous initiatives to promote resilient agricultural practices that combine productivity and ecosystem preservation.
For example, the unprecedented integration of solar energy production with aquaculture makes Emirates a regional leader in the pursuit of sustainable development goals.