The Middle East and Africa seafood market was valued at US 9,335.80 million in 2019 and is projected to reach US$ 10,738.16 million by 2027; it is expected to grow at a CAGR of 1.8% during 2020–2027.
As per the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), seafood comprises all commercially obtained saltwater and freshwater fish, molluscan shellfish, and crustaceans. There is a constantly rising demand for seafood in MEA. According to the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), by 2030, the demand for the same would rise up by 40 million additional tons, i.e., the product volumes should be increased by almost 30% of the current volumes to meet this demand. Rising per capita consumption, along with escalating demand for imported seafood products in various countries, is strengthening the Middle East and Africa seafood market. The demand for seafood products across specialty restaurants is growing at a high pace. Moreover, coastal regions are making efforts to develop advanced supply chains for the export and supply of seafood. The growth of the seafood market highly depends on the ease of procuring seafood from coastal regions. Furthermore, the improvement in economic condition and gradual increase in disposable income levels also complement the market growth. Developing economies are witnessing strong urbanization trend, and it has boosted the disposable income of middle-income groups, subsequently changing the consumption preference from essential to premium food products among medium- as well as high-income consumers in urban areas. This trend propels seafood companies and suppliers to improve their products and services.
On the basis of type, the seafood market is segmented into fish, crustaceans, mollusca and others. Cod, salmon, trout, tuna, haddock, sea bream, plaice, and shark are among the fish types that are consumed as seafood. A few of the fish species are raised in ponds or in cages in the sea but most of them are picked up alive from the oceans by the big commercial fishing boats. Fish is an important source of protein. It can be consumed raw; it can also be preserved for future consumption pickling it (pickled herring). It can be smoked and consumed (smoked salmon) and can be canned (canned tuna). Fish can be offered as an entire body or can be cut into large pieces, commonly known as fillets. It can also be cut into small pieces and be used in the making of soup, stew, or curries. Fishes with white flesh have lower fat content than any other source of animal protein. The oily fish are high in omega-3 fatty acid and serves as a source of good fats. Fishes such as wild salmon from Alaska, Arctic char, sardines, anchovies, farmed trout, and albacore tuna are high in omega-3 fatty acids, are eco-friendly and low in environmental contaminants.
On the basis of country, the Middle East and Africa seafood market is segmented into South Africa, Saudi Arabia, the UAE, and the Rest of Middle East and Africa. Saudi Arabia contributed the largest share to the Middle East and Africa seafood market in 2019. Seafood products are gaining traction in Saudi Arabia due to the growing health cautiousness and demand for healthy foodstuff among consumers. In 1982, the Saudi government collaborated with the FAO and established the Jeddah Fisheries Research Centre (JFRC), a center for fisheries and aquaculture research. Several visionary entrepreneurs invested heavily in the seafood industry, further developing expertise as well as building and installing state-of-the-art facilities. Today, aquaculture is perceived as a dynamic food production sector and a major pillar to the support of Vision 2030, i.e., the strategic plan of Saudi Arabia to transform the economy and society.
Kangamiut Seafood A/S, Mowi ASA, The Union Group PCL, and Grupo Nueva Pescanovan are among the major players in the Middle East and Africa seafood market.
The overall Middle East and Africa seafood market size has been derived in accordance with both primary and secondary sources. To begin the research process, exhaustive secondary research has been conducted using internal and external sources to obtain qualitative and quantitative information related to the market. Also, multiple primary interviews have been conducted with industry participants and commentators to validate the data, as well as to gain more analytical insights into the topic. The participants typically involved in this process include industry expert such as VPs, business development managers, market intelligence managers, and national sales managers, along with external consultants such as valuation experts, research analysts, and key opinion leaders, specializing in the seafood market.