The EU-funded ODYSSEA Project participated in the 7th Fisheries and Aquaculture International Fair – Salon International de la Pêche et de l’Aquaculture (SIPA 2017), held in Oran, Algeria on November 9-12, 2017.
ODYSSEA was represented at the event, which was dedicated to sustainable development and to the protection of biodiversity, through local partner Nord Sud Ventures (NSV). The fair, hosted by the Algerian Chamber of Fisheries and Aquaculture (CAPA), is a major event addressing the needs of the fast-growing fisheries and aquaculture (FA) industry in the country and the wider Maghreb region.
The FA sector represents a key component of Algeria’s national strategy to strengthen and diversify primary sectors in order to meet the challenges linked to demographic expansion and reduction of economic dependency on petroleum-based activities.
SIPA 2017 saw the participation of 140 exhibitors from Algeria and around the world. The participation and active involvement of leading international organizations at the event, such as the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Agreement on the Conservation of Cetaceans of the Black Sea, Mediterranean Sea and contiguous Atlantic area (ACCOBAMS), the Japanese International Cooperation Agency (JICA) and Korean International Cooperation Agency (KOICA), complemented the engagement of Algerian national authorities and civil society groups in issues related to balanced development and the preservation of natural resources.
SIPA 2017 confirmed participants’ determination to support, in every possible way, the cooperation between the public sector, knowledge carriers and industry entrepreneurs, which constitutes a non-negligible novelty for Algeria and the rest of North Africa.
In this context, the ODYSSEA Project was able to identify and connect with numerous potential end-users of its services and pave the way for a major breakthrough that is bound to bring about the establishment of a local operational oceanography station in Algeria.
“Our vision,” concluded NSV Chairman, Arslan Chikhaoui, “is to effectively encourage public-private partnerships (PPP), and contribute to the development of real capacities at the local level, to embrace both industry and the public sector and guide them in the adoption and use of the most up to date techniques.”
“ODYSSEA provides us with the opportunity for a true head start, helping Algeria cover lost ground and partner with leading players from all over the Mediterranean and the European Union in the Blue Economy sector,” Chikhaoui said.
During the event, Algerian Agriculture, Rural Development and Fisheries Minister Abdelkader Bouazghil stressed that the fishing-aquaculture sector is on the verge of a leap in terms of quality and size. This is based on the basis of the number and importance of projects in course.
The minister cited the level of investments and products exhibited at SIPA 2017 as an additional indicator of the sector’s importance for the national economy, and his own ministry’s support of projects to develop fishery facilities and promote legislation for such things as artificial reefs and protection of biodiversity.
Currently there some 40 aqua cultural farms in production, with a capacity of more than 25,000 tons, and there are another 250 proposals to construct more such farms under study, he said.
Bouazghil also noted that there are currently 44 active fishing ports and shelters, that 15 large ports are being upgraded, and that the number of fishing units active in the country had more than doubled in recent years, from 2,300 to 5,000.