Haydar H Al Sahtout
Haydar H Al SahtoutAdviser, Saudi Aquaculture Society, Saudi Arabia

Day 1: 12 Nov 2019 - 4:30 – 4:50 PM

Middle East Shrimp Industry: Current Trends and Expansion Plans

The increasing global demand for shrimp is satisfied by modern aquaculture techniques and improved processing and logistics methods. Shrimp culture is spread all around the subtropical and tropical regions of the world, with non-traditional aquaculture countries emerging rapidly on the global scene.

In the Middle East region,  the effective cultivation of shrimp started in the early 1990s, primarily along the coast of the Red Sea. Initially, it ‎focused mainly on the culture of P. monodon; however, because of the highly sensitivity of this species, aquaculturists switched to P. indicus in the early 2000s. An epidemic of WSSV in the early 2010s forced the regional industry to restructure again. SPF P. vannamei stocks were introduced and strict biosecurity measures implemented, mainly by the government of Saudi Arabia.

In 2018, Saudi Arabia was the largest producer in the region, with production reaching over 65 thousand tonnes, of which the bulk is exported to more than 30 countries worldwide.  Iran ranks 2nd with an estimated production of around 46 thousand tonnes, produced mainly in the country’s southern provinces. Egypt came as the third largest producer with an estimated production of 7 thousand tonnes . The production of the other countries in the Middle East is marginal.

Prospects for further growth are high, especially along the coast of the Red Sea, as shown by the increasing interest by international investors over the past few years.  The accumulated know-how, coupled by favourable conditions, strict biosecure policies, as well as government support, guarantee the further development of the shrimp industries in the region.

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