On 10 March, the United Nations Development Organization (UNIDO) launched a project to apply more resource-efficient and circular production practices in Tunisia’s aquaculture value chain at an online event.
The event consulted with representatives from the Government of Tunisia, the European Union’s Delegation, and 25 companies from Tunisia’s aquaculture industry on the project roadmap.
Scheduled for 2021, the first phase of the project will undertake a value chain analysis of the Tunisian aquafarming industry to identify improvement areas, such as opportunities for the valorization of by-products, the potential of applying eco-innovative SMART technologies and industrial synergies in the aquafarming sector.
In his opening remarks Mr. Jean-Pierre Sacaze, Head of the Social Inclusion and Sustainable Development Section at the EU Delegation in Tunisia, said “This approach complements very well the reforms that the EU is supporting in Tunisia for an environment favourable to entrepreneurship, young people and women in particular in green growth and the development of a blue economy.”
Taking action to secure and improve the aquaculture industry in Tunisia for future operations requires the mobilization of all actors throughout the value chain. During the event, an interactive workshop with producers from the shellfish, fish and fish meal industry provided valuable inputs in the identification of potential pilot projects that can demonstrate the application of resource-efficient and circular production practices.
According to the Chief of Cabinet for the Minister of Agriculture and Maritime Resources, Yassine Skandrani, “Aquaculture alone accounts for 16% of the national production of aquatic products and affects more than 2,000 direct and indirect jobs.”
The project will run under the SwitchMed Blue Economy component, which aims to ensure that economic activities in marine regions do not negatively impact ecosystems and livelihoods while supporting associated economic sectors, such as aquafarming, to maintain and increase their value over time in line with the national strategy 2030 for sustainable aquaculture development.
While aquaculture has many positive impacts on food security, job creation and the conservation of wild fish stocks, it can also pose serious environmental risks and conflict of usage between actors in coastal areas. The project in Tunisia will investigate the options such as introducing the concept of integrated multi-trophic aquaculture or exploring the areas of by-product waste valorization and industrial symbiosis between the actors of the value chain.
“The development of sustainable aquaculture has been at the center of our for the last five-year development plan as well as in the 2030 vision for the promotion of the fisheries and aquaculture sector,” said Skandrani.
Click here for more information on the UNIDO Blue Economy project in Tunisia
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