February 8, 2022
Planned production of 80,000 tonnes of seafood by aquaculture projects in future city in Saudi Arabia
The developers of Neom, the futuristic city that is planned for the Saudi Arabian coast of the Red Sea, have unveiled plans to produce 80,000 tonnes of seafood through innovative aquaculture projects on the site.
During a presentation at the recent 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, Arab News reported. 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 2,500ha of recirculating ponds, with the capacity to produce 48,000 tonnes.
Furthermore, 350ha of the Red Sea will be set aside for farming species native to the region. According to Arab News, offshore and nearshore cages will cover 160ha and an additional 160ha 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% of Saudi Arabia'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.
- The Fish Site