Riyadh, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, February 8 , 2024 – NEOM, the sustainable regional development taking shape in northwestern Saudi Arabia, today announced the establishment of a joint venture with Tabuk Fisheries Company. Endorsed by the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture (MEWA), the joint venture, Topian Aquaculture, aims to support the National Livestock and Fisheries Development Program in achieving its ambitious goal of producing 600,000 tons of fish products annually by 2030.
The joint venture builds on the Memorandum of Understanding between NEOM and Tabuk Fisheries Company signed in 2021 and will establish Topian Aquaculture. The venture will include a hatchery that is expected to become the largest in the MENA region by the end of 2024 and has a planned capacity of 42 million fingerlings and marine-pen production facilities, with production of finfish in the pens projected to reach 20 kt per year.
Topian, the NEOM Food Company, is the key facilitator of the venture, which aligns with its commitment to developing a robust, sustainable aquaculture sector in the Kingdom to support food security and self-sufficiency, and ensure the production of fresh, healthy seafood in Saudi Arabia and beyond. This strategic agreement, unveiled at the Saudi International Marine Exhibition (SIMEC) in Riyadh, outlines Topian Aquaculture's role in advancing the aquacultural landscape locally and regionally.
Nadhmi Al-Nasr, CEO of NEOM, said: "Topian Aquaculture reflects NEOM’s mission to implement innovative solutions that strengthen key industry sectors, while mitigating our impact on the environment. The strategic joint venture with Tabuk Fisheries Company highlights the role collaboration plays in NEOM’s goal of redefining business and in meeting the national objectives of Saudi Arabia.”
Dr. Ali Al-Shaikhi, CEO of the National Livestock and Fisheries Development Program and Director General of Fisheries at the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture, stated that Topian’s project enhances the development of the aquaculture system in Saudi Arabia, serving in support of the Kingdom’s strategic plan to further develop the fisheries sector, which aims to achieve food security and fish products’ self-sufficiency that ensures food safety and sustainability in the Kingdom.
Nasser A. Al-Sharif, Chairman of Tabuk Fisheries Company, said: “We are excited to bring the joint venture with NEOM to fruition. Tabuk Fisheries Company has built a strong foundation, producing high-quality marine fish for the local market, and the joint venture will allow for the adoption and integration of next generation technologies, propelling Topian Aquaculture to the forefront of sustainable development.”
Aquaculture continues to be the world’s fastest-growing food sector, as global demand for seafood is predicted to grow by 14 percent by 2030 highlighting the urgency to address the mounting pressure on seas and oceans. In addition to protecting the Red Sea's diverse fish species and bolstering local fish production, the joint venture will play a crucial role in mitigating the carbon footprint associated with seafood imports.