Aquaculture for all

Saudi seafood tradeshow inspires landmark agreements

Atlantic Salmon Shrimp Marine fish +9 more

The third edition of the Saudi International Marine Exhibition (SIMEC), which concluded yesterday, attracted more than 15,000 visitors and led to the signing of nine major aquaculture agreements.

Aerial view of the inside of a hall set up for a trade show
SIMEC 2024 attracted 15,000 visitors

According to the organisers, the most notable among these agreements were:

  • A joint venture between Neom and Tabuk Fisheries Company - one of the Middle East’s leading finfish farmers and supports extensive land-based and inshore aquaculture research.
  • An MoU between Topian - the company responsible for food production in Neom - and Pure Salmon, to build a land-based salmon RAS in the Kingdom.
  • An MOU between Topian and the National Livestock & Fisheries Development Program, with a focus on research and technological development, sustainable aquaculture practices in the Red Sea, and establishing a national seafood market.
  • An MOU between Topian and the National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA), Saudi’s largest shrimp producer, and one of the world’s fastest growing multi-species farming companies.

Over the past year, fishery production in the Kingdom surpassed 70,000 tonnes, while aquaculture production grew to 140,000 tonnes. Through initiatives led by the country’s National Livestock & Fisheries Development Program, the country now aims to reach 600,000 tonnes of seafood production by 2030, to increase food security and seafood exports.

Ammar Al Ziter, CEO of City Events, said that exhibition helped to put the country on the international stage, and noted that plans are underway to attract more international exhibitors in the upcoming editions. SIMEC invites companies from around the world involved in the aquaculture and fisheries sector to attend the next edition, in 2025.

“With major collaborative signings, seafood cooking contests and specialized workshops covering aquaculture technologies, algae production, and key investment opportunities in the Kingdom, the exhibition achieved resounding success, drawing significant attention from both local and international participants,” said Al Ziter, in a press release.

James Sibley, a digital seafood digital media creator from the United States, who attended SIMEC this year added: “The opportunities for unique, sustainable and successful aquaculture in Saudi Arabia are incredible. The industry is burgeoning here with growth and excitement that’s hard to find anywhere else. The Kingdom’s involvement of international experts and collaborating firms is set to build one of the world’s most robust aquaculture industries. I’ve always said that collaboration is key with aquaculture, and Saudi Arabia is doing just that.”

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