During a presentation at this week’s Saudi International
Marine Exhibition and Conference in Riyadh, the developers said that they aim
to focus on the construction of innovative marine and land-based aquaculture production
systems, reports Arab News. Species of interest include yellowtail
kingfish, great amberjack, orange-spotted grouper and meagre.

The initial production
is due to take place in a 22 hectare recirculating aquaculture system (RAS)
facility, capable of producing 12,000 tonnes of fish. This will later be
supplemented by 2,500 ha of recirculating ponds, with the capacity to produce 48,000
tonnes.

Furthermore 350 ha of the Red Sea will be set aside for
farming species native to the Red Sea. According to Arab News, offshore and
nearshore cages will cover 160 ha and an additional 160 ha will be used for hatcheries
and nurseries, with the scope to produce 20,000 tonnes of kingfish per year. The plan also includes seaweed farms that are able
to produce 17,000 tonnes (dry weight) of macroalgae per year.

The developers are also planning to implement a number of
technologies to produce high-quality protein for aquafeeds. According to the
presentation, this will include 7,000 tonnes of insect protein.

Both primary and secondary processing facilities are also included in the plans. Given that 71 percent of the country’s seafood is currently imported, the
developers see the domestic market as offering plenty of opportunities.

Neom is due to receive
more than $500 billion from the Public
Investment Fund of Saudi Arabia, as well as from local and international investors, in the coming years.

Aquaculture is an increasingly important source of safe, nutritious, and sustainable seafood for people worldwide. Globally, aquaculture production must double by 2030 to keep pace with demand. These increases in demand for aquaculture products, food security considerations, and job creation have generated an increased need for skilled workers.

Discover how you can be part of this rapidly expanding industry.

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