Fisheries sector to create 400,000 jobs

Updated 29 May 2016

Fisheries sector to create 400,000 jobs

DAMMAM: The Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture is trying to activate and support the fisheries sector, as it is expected that 600,000 tons of fish and prawns will be provided yearly by 2029.

This is a significant increase over today’s provision of 100,000 tons, according to Nabil Vita, director of the fisheries center of the eastern region of the Ministry of Environment, Water and Agriculture.
Talking to an online newspaper on the sidelines of a workshop on marine environment recently organized in Al-Khobar, Vita said that the objective is to increase the level of Saudization in the fisheries sector to 75 percent, creating 400,000 jobs, increasing the annual yield of prawns to 1.7 million tons and setting up of farms.
Nabil said that eight counties of the Gulf divide the fisheries’ produce. This requires coordination between them for sustainability. He said that there were agreements between the six Gulf Cooperation Council members in this area, but that there is also excessive fishing which is harming the reserves.
Vita said that according to statistics of the ministry, the Kingdom produced 28,343 tons of fish in 2004. It had gone down to 27,251 tons in 2013 after increasing to the highest level of 34,337 tons in 2006.
He said that the prawn yields have gone down to 6,415 tons in 2013 after achieving the highest level of 9,003 tons in 2008, and 6,610 tons in 2004.
Giving more details on the activities of the sector, Vita said that 2,144 was the highest number of fishing boats in 2013; in 2004 there were 1,812, which was the lowest level since 2006 when there were 1,853.
Latest statistics said that there are more than 250 fishery projects at the present in the Kingdom. In view of the high consumption, the ministry wants to increase the supply of marine products to 300,000 tons per year.

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

There was an explosion of joy at the podium when Antonio Felix da Costa lifted the winner’s trophy at the conclusion of the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix on Saturday. (Photo/Supplied)
Updated 22 min 26 sec ago

Motorsport, rock bands, tourists … welcome to the new Saudi Arabia

  • Three-day event at Ad Diriyah reaches spectacular climax in an unprecedented spirit of openness

The driver with the winner’s trophy was Antonio Felix da Costa — but the real winners were Saudi Arabia itself, and more than 1,000 tourists visiting the country for the first time.

Da Costa, the Andretti Motorsport driver, won the Formula E Saudia Ad Diriyah E-Prix in front of thousands of race fans at a custom-built track in the historic district on the outskirts of Riyadh.

But in truth, the event was about much more than high-tech electric cars hurtling round a race track — thrilling though that was. The three-day festival of motorsport, culture and entertainment was Saudi Arabia’s chance to prove that it can put on a show to rival anything in the world, and which only two years ago would have been unthinkable.

The event was also the first to be linked to the Sharek electronic visa system, allowing foreigners other than pilgrims or business visitors to come to Saudi Arabia.

Jason, from the US, is spending a week in the country with his German wife, riding quad bikes in the desert and visiting heritage sites. “I’ve always wanted to come for many, many years ... I’m so happy to be here and that they’re letting us be here,” he said.

Aaron, 40, a software engineer, traveled from New York for two days. “Saudi Arabia has always been an exotic place ... and I didn’t think I’d ever be able to come here,” he said.

About 1,000 visitors used the Sharek visa, a fraction of what Saudi Arabia aims eventually to attract. 

“Hopefully we will learn from this and see what we need to do for the future, but I can tell you from now that there is a lot of demand,” said Prince Abdul Aziz bin Turki Al-Faisal, vice chairman of the General Sports Authority.

His optimism was backed by Kirill Dmitriev, chief executive of the Russian Direct Investment Fund and a visitor to Ad Diriyah. “Such events will attract tourists and are a true celebration for young Saudis who desire a bright future,” he said.

“The vision of moderate Islam, promoted by Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman, is important both for the region and the entire world, and its realization needs to be appreciated, respected and supported.”

The event ended on Saturday night with a spectacular show by US band OneRepublic and the superstar DJ David Guetta. “Just when you think things can’t get better, they suddenly do,” said concertgoer Saleh Saud. “This is the new Saudi Arabia, and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next.”