The Moroccan city of Agadir hosts, from 20 to 24 February 2019, the 5th Edition of the Halieutis exhibition on fishing, aquaculture and the maritime industry. The trade show, which aims to promote fisheries, registers several African delegations represented by Ministers in charge of the fisheries sector. Their presence testifies to the desire to identify new avenues for cooperation in the fisheries sector between Morocco and other countries of the continent, if we know that Africa is now contributing only 7% of the world's fish production.
Invited by Morocco, Ministers from several European and African countries, as well as the largest private actors in the sector, gathered to talk business. This is a big issue when the European Parliament has just adopted the fisheries agreement with Morocco on 12 February.
The Halieutis exhibition, which takes part in more than 250 exhibitors from around forty countries, offers a cycle of meetings and conferences about the news, the stakes and the prospects of the sector in a context where the sustainable development of the economy Ocean is at the Centre of concern.
Under immense white tents, hundreds of international participants expose their fish or canning machines at the Halieutis exhibition in Agadir. This is the case of Patrick Potiron, an engineer at Agiltech, who sells geolocation instruments. The French company hopes to establish itself in Morocco. "It's a big market for fishing," he says. The Salon is to analyse the Moroccan market, see how it goes, the regulatory aspect… And find a partner to distribute the products or even a implantation here. »
Promoting trade is the aim of the fisheries agreement that has just been adopted by the European Parliament. It allows 128 European vessels to fish in Moroccan waters, in return for 52 million annual euros. It also foresees a sustainable fishery, as explained by the European Union's Ambassador to Morocco, Claudia Wiedey. "Our fishing agreements are creative. We have measures that, for example, block our boats at the entrance to the areas of Morocco or other partners from the moment we have an indication that it is a threat to existing stocks. It is an important export sector for Morocco, which also has an importance for us European consumers, "she assures.
The "satisfaction of seeing this partnership consolidate" by Minister Aziz Akhannouch
A "winning win" partnership according to the Ambassador, while Morocco exports 1.4 billion euros of fishery products to the European Union. For the Moroccan Minister of fisheries, Aziz Akhannouch, one sentiment prevails. "The satisfaction of seeing this partnership consolidate, to be part of sustainability and to build a new approach to relations, especially with the southern regions. »
Placed under the theme "new technologies in fishing: for a better fisheries contribution in the blue economy", this event also emphasizes innovative solutions that can be put in place by operators of sea fishing and aquaculture.
These agreements could now be negotiated in conjunction with the blue belt initiative countries. Launched the day before the Agadir show, this initiative is supported by 22 countries for a blue economy in Africa. In this context, Minister Akhannouch is already ready to commit. "We, it lasted many years. We negotiated and reached an agreement. This experience, we can make it available to our African friends, because parliamentary institutions is something very complex. We have an experience, if we are asked, we are there, "he says.
A proposal that was heard by African countries, as evidenced by Georges MBA Asseko of the Gabonese delegation. "It would be beneficial for African countries to also negotiate these agreements in a grouped manner. »
Africa now contributes only 7% of the world's fish production. According to a balance sheet given by the Moroccan Minister of agriculture and fisheries, the Kingdom exported 2.3 billion euros of fishery products in 2017, an increase of 3.4% compared to the previous year. The Government plan Halieutis, which ends in 2020, aims at a target of 3.1 billion euros.
Since its launch, as part of the "Halieutis" strategy for the development of the Moroccan maritime fisheries sector, this biennial event in Africa has emerged as a crossroads of exchanges, partnerships and reflections, constituting a privileged framework for dialogue between professionals.