Thanks to the “Halieutis” system, the Kingdom has tripled the value of its maritime exports. The good health of this sector is reflected in increased production and exports, the creation of nearly 50,000 jobs, increased investment, the strengthening of research, etc.
Launched by Morocco in 2009 to promote the fishing sector, the Halieutis strategy has almost tripled the financial value of Morocco’s maritime exports, from 9 billion dirhams before the launch of the system to 28 billion dirhams in 2022. Exports for the year 2022 reached 883,000 tonnes, worth 28 billion dirhams, a good increase, both in volume and in value compared to the year 2021. They were intended for European markets and non-EU, African, American and Asian. The main customers are Spain with a third of the jackpot, Italy taking the tenth, followed by Turkey, France, Japan, Russia…
These eloquent figures confirm that the fishing sector has made a qualitative leap thanks to the “Halieutis” plan”, said Zakia Driouich, Secretary General of the Department of Fisheries at the Ministry of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, Water and Forests. She also underlined that the objective has been achieved thanks to the measures included in the Halieutis device and whose implementation of the second phase will extend until 2030. The latter is based on a certain number of pivotal measures, at the Foremost among which is scientific research in the field of maritime fishing, to which the State has allocated a financial envelope of one billion dirhams.
Driouich, told journalists on the sidelines of the “Halieutis” exhibition in Agadir during a press briefing that the development of the maritime fishing sector required more investment in scientific research. A budget of nearly 1.55 billion dirhams has been dedicated to it for this purpose by the Executive. She specified in this respect that scientific research been reinforced by means and programs and had the equipment of 6 oceanographic research vessels, the last of which was acquired for 500 million dirhams.
In order to preserve halieutic wealth, the “Halieutis” plan provides for measures to protect fisheries intended for marketing, through the development of the monitoring of maritime fishing vessels by satellite. Fisheries traceability and control have been strengthened by equipping coastal and offshore fishing vessels with satellite geolocation beacons (VMS). Thus, any fishing vessel fishing in Moroccan waters is equipped with this device allowing it to determine its fishing location and to what extent it respects biological comfort and prohibited areas. With regard to the promotion of seafood products,
Zakia Driouich indicated that the Halieutis strategy has set up mechanisms such as wholesale markets (about ten whereas there was only one in 2009) to strengthen marketing. The Maritime Fisheries Department also pays particular attention to cooperatives operating in the fisheries and aquaculture sector, through supervision and capacity building actions that enable them to be autonomous and profitable.
With regard to traditional fishing, Driouich indicated that the creation of fish landing points and fishing villages, equipped with machinery and cooling chambers, has made it possible to organize this type of fishing for small pelagics which constitute the national fishery resources (octopus, shrimps, hake, small and large crustaceans, etc.), noting that among the measures taken also included the provision of plastic boxes to sailors for the purpose of promoting the maritime product.
She further pointed out that all seafarers working in the traditional fishing sector are covered by social protection, in addition to insurance for accidents at work, pointing out that the ministry does not issue operating permits for any fishing boat unless it is insured. Aquaculture was also discussed. In order to guide investment, eight coastal regions over 2,343 km have been identified as areas suitable for the aquaculture of different marine species. To date, the aquaculture production potential is estimated at more than 380,000 tonnes per year.