Aquaculture is gaining momentum
The National Agency for the Development of Aquaculture (ANDA) indicatedthat 168 aquaculture projects started their activities thisyear in the differentregions of Morocco, for an investment of 869 million dirhams. Out of 259 agreements for the creation and operation of aquaculture farmspublished in the Official Bulletin at the end of 2021, 168 projects have started the installation of their farms in the differentregions of the Kingdom for a long-term production of more than 80,000 tons/year and the creation of more than 2,000 jobs, specified the ANDA.

In addition to these projects being set up, ANDA launched, from March 3 to June 2, a call for expressions of interest for the realization of new aquaculture projects in the regions of Dakhla-Oued Eddahab, Guelmim-Oued Noun, Souss-Massa, Tangier-Tétouan-Al Hoceima and Oriental, afterwhich more than 100 aquaculture farm projects are selected for a target production of 100,000 tonnes/year. With regard to solidarity aquaculture, ANDA indicatesthatitalsoprovides administrative and technical support for 116 aquaculture projects of a social nature, carried out by groups of young entrepreneurs and cooperatives of women and seafishermen in order to support them in the realization of their projects. To guarantee the inclusion of thiscategory, the Department of Maritime Fisheries, whichcomesunder the Ministry of Agriculture, has set up a structuring program aimed at the financial support of these social projects for an envelope of 129 MDH.In addition to technical, administrative and financial support, a theoretical and practical training program in the aquaculture profession is carried out for the benefit of young entrepreneurs and cooperatives in partnership with the maritime fishingdepartment for which ANDA has set up threeeducationalfarms in Dakhla, Agadir and Ras Al Ma. Along the samelines and aware of the importance of capacity building in aquaculture, the Department of Marine Fisheries of the Ministry, ANDA and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) launched, with the support of Norway and the Netherlands, a support project for the development of aquaculture professions in Morocco for an amount of 2.5 million dollars, whichprovides for the installation of a demonstration and training station for fishfarming and shellfishfarming in Sidi If.
In terms of coastal planning for aquaculture purposes, five regional aquaculture development plans are carried out in the regions of Guelmim-Oued-Noun, Laayoune Sakia El Hamra, Casablanca-Settat, Marrakech-Safi and the lagoon of Marchica, highlighting an aquaculture potentialexceeding 8,000 hectares.
Regarding the agency's action plan for the year 2022, ANDA has indicatedthatit is broken down into 20 structural projects and 50 actions dedicated to the trades of aquaculture to give a significant boost to the development of the aquaculture sector. Theyrevolvearound the establishment of legislative and regulatory provisions governing aquaculture, planning for aquaculture purposes to identify new potential and create aquaculture poles in all coastalregionswith aquaculture potential and facilitatingaccess to aquaculture inputs, as well as strengthening the system of advice, guidance and support for aquaculture projects and the establishment of pilot demonstration projects.