Middle East fish industry worth US $272mn a year
With GCC demand for fresh fish products expected to grow approximately 8% per annum up to 2030, local, regional and global fish suppliers, producers and aquaculture centres are set to attract regional buyers at Seafex 2015.
According to a report by the United Nations’ Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), per capita fish consumption across the GCC is estimated at 10kg per year. The UAE leads regional per capita consumption rankings at 24kg per year – 5kg higher than the global average.
With the regional fish industry worth AED1 billion (US $ 272,253,276.76) a year and heavy investment in pioneering fish farming initiatives, a regional fund has been established in 2014 to assist GCC countries’ aquaculture projects, while the UAE is planning to set-up the Middle East’s first sturgeon caviar and salmon farm in 2016.
While boosting domestic fish production will help meet rising regional demand for fish, the reliance on imports will remain.
Fish consumption in the UAE alone is predicted to cross the 900,000-tonne barrier by 2030 and the entire GCC fishing industry currently only produces 392,000 tonnes of fish per year. According to the Ministry of Economy, the UAE contributes 75,000 tonnes - or 19% - of the regional production total.
“This year’s largest-ever edition of Seafex will offer producers and buyers an unrivalled platform to source and explore new sales avenues, distribution channels, technology advances and regional expansion opportunities,” said Trixie LohMirmand, senior vice president, DWTC.
She continued: “The global fish processing industry is at an interesting stage in its evolution. Regional governments have acknowledged that, on an international level, aquaculture farming centres are catching or have caught up with traditional capture fisheries.
Seafex provides access to both sectors and unites more than 150 specialist exhibitors from across the global fish production industry with the right partners from leading regional hotels, restaurants, caterers, retailers, wholesalers, distributors and procurement officials from across the food processing sector.”
In addition to new country pavilions from Morocco, Poland, Norway and UK, Belgium-based Seafex newcomer Vichiunai - one of Europe’s largest producers of crab sticks, surimi products and fish – will join other seafood suppliers from USA, Spain, Singapore, Denmark and Thailand.
Closer to home, European Sea Food - a Dubai-based company importing, exporting and trading all varieties of seafood – is participating for a third consecutive year. With domestic holding aquariums with a capacity of over 20,000kg of various live products, European Sea Food will exhibit its giant lobster range at Seafex 2015.
UAE-based East Fish Processing LLC, a member of Thomsun Group, will launch a new line of breaded and marinated products under its Eastco brand - which will include marinated fish fillets and marinated shrimps with ‘lemon & cilantro’ and ‘tandoori’ flavours.
The Chartered Institute of Purchasing & Supply (CIPS) is organising Purchasing & Supply Seminars provided by certified professionals where attendees will earn Continuing Professional Development (CPD) certificates.
Finally, the annual Seafex Awards will again recognise the seafood industry’s leading industry innovations and launches at a gala dinner on the first day of the show.
Open daily from 10am-6pm October 27- 28, and from 10am-5pm on October 29, Seafex 2015 is organised alongside Sweets and Snacks Middle East and The Speciality Food Festival.