A $2.5 million project to strengthen the aquaculture sector in Morocco

The Department of Maritime Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development and Water and Forestry (MAPMDREF) announces the virtual launch of a USD 2.5 million project to support the development of aquaculture businesses in Morocco.

This project was launched in collaboration with the National Agency for Aquaculture Development (ANDA) and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), with the support of the Kingdom of Norway and the Kingdom of the Netherlands.

Due to the restrictive measures on movement adopted by Morocco in the framework of the fight against the spread of the COVID-19 virus, the various partners involved in the project for capacity building in aquaculture in Morocco have today launched it by videoconference. This event marks with a white stone the start of an innovative project which aims to strengthen the aquaculture sector in Morocco through the development of technical skills necessary for production and the promotion of investments in the sector.

Born from a partnership between the MAPMDREF Maritime Fisheries Department, ANDA, FAO, and the embassies of Norway and the Netherlands in Morocco, this $2.5 million project aims to meet a growing demand for technical assistance from aquaculture operators and to develop a skilled workforce for the operation of the planned farms off the Atlantic and Mediterranean coasts.
Ultimately, the project involves the installation of a demonstration/training station for fish and shellfish production off Sidi Ifni through a public-private partnership. This station will serve as a practical basis for the training of trainers, skilled workers and qualified workers in all aquaculture trades and will be combined with theoretical training in the Maritime Vocational Qualification Centre (CQPM) of Sidi Ifni.

The project also provides for the development of training modules for specialised technicians, the development of Moroccan expertise in the field of aquaculture through the networking of Moroccan private stakeholders with their international counterparts and the linking of Moroccan training/research institutions with others abroad.
Also with a view to supporting the development of the deep-sea aquaculture sector and promoting employment, particularly among young people, and thus curbing migration, the project will rely on the recognized expertise of the partners to achieve its results.

As a reminder, the project is in line with the efforts made by Morocco in the fisheries and aquaculture sectors and is consistent with the Halieutis strategy adopted by the Kingdom of Morocco in 2009 for the development of fisheries and aquaculture, which underpins the achievement of Sustainable Development Objective (SDO) No. 2 for the elimination of hunger and the improvement of food security and nutrition and Sustainable Development Objective (SDO) No. 14 for the sustainable use of marine ecosystems.

The financial contribution of Norway amounts to $1.65 million and that of the Netherlands to $0.85 million.