By James Wright, Senior Editor - SeafoodSource.com Published on Wednesday, April 22 2015
The arid climate of Saudi Arabia may not seem like a prime region for seafood production, but National Aquaculture Group (NAQUA) is growing its vannamei shrimp and barramundi production in land- and sea-based operations.
“Fish [grown in] the Red Sea, which has a very high salinity, have a special flavor,” Michael Fog, sales director for NAQUA (Stand 5-229), told SeafoodSource at Seafood Expo Global in Brussels, Belgium.
The company has 400 ponds of about 10 hectares in size in which it produces Pacific white (vannamei) shrimp, roughly 17,000 metric tons (MT) annually. Its barramundi production is at 5,000 MT annually, explained Fog.
“We’re looking to improve our [regional] market,” he added. “There are 400 million people in the region, 90 million in Egypt alone.” But the goal at Seafood Expo Global is to attract more international business.
About 60 percent of NAQUA’s seafood production is exported to Asia, the United States and the EU. The company launched an advertising campaign to build awareness of its “Red Sea Barramundi” in the U.S. market starting last November, and will run throughout 2015.
NAQUA in January became the Middle East’s first aquaculture producer to earn Best Aquaculture Practices certification.