The National Fisheries Office (ONP) has found Morocco’s artisanal and coastal fishing industry has increased its yields by 15% since April last year.
The ONP reports that 386,246 tons of fish, seaweed, and shellfish were caught between January and April 2019, up 15% from the same time last year. The value of the catches totalled MAD 2.8 billion ($288 million), an increase of 14% from last year.
Seaweed fishing increased drastically by 242% to 9,194 tons. Seaweed is used all over the world in a variety of different products. Most goes to human consumption and food products like agar-agar, while the rest goes to other products like cosmetics and fertilizers.
Shell fishing increased by 121% (156 tons), and fish and crustaceans also increased by 5% and 4% respectively.
ONP also noted a sharp increase in the number of fish arriving in Morocco’s Mediterranean ports (54%), and a 13% increase in fish arriving at Moroccan ports on the Atlantic.
Morocco is investing in its fishing strategy and is aiming to increase its yields to 1.6 million tons per year by 2020. The artisanal and coastal fishing industry yielded 1.31 million tons in 2018, valued at MAD 7.3 billion ($752 million).
Morocco is the top fish producer in Africa, and the 25th fish producer worldwide.
The fishing industry represents between 2% and 3% of Morocco’s GDP, and generates over 700,000 jobs. Moroccan fish exports contribute to 58% of the country’s total food exports.