A land stretch the size of 11 football fields is what the Al-Fayrouz Fish Farming Project in Egypt is. Commissioned at the beginning of this year, Al-Fayrouz is now Africa’s largest fish farming operation, overtaking Lake Harvest in Zimbabwe, which was for a while, the continent’s largest aquaculture site.
Technically, Al-Fayrouz is not within the confines of the African continent itself but outside of it since it plotted on the Mediterranean. This also means that the fish farm is the largest in the Middle East. The monetary cost of this feat chalked by Egypt is not clear although unofficial estimates have put it at about $200 million.
The farm is technically not just an aquaculture project. It is also meant as a project that will bring added value to the development of the Suez Canal and the Sinai Peninsula because it entails industrial and urban settlements there. Over 10,000 direct and indirect jobs, according to the Egyptian government, will be created by Al-Fayrouz.
Egypt’s National Company for Fisheries and Aquaculture will manage the project which has 5,908 fishponds covering more than 15,00 acres. Al-Fayrouz also holds shipyards where the size of each dock is 120 by 80 meters and accommodates six fishing vessels of length up to 30 meters. This is to allow Egypt to export some of the farm’s produce across the Middle East.
According to Egypt Today, the country will not rest on its laurels by simply building the Al-Fayrouz. New fish farming technologies will be employed in Egypt, among which includes cage culture, and the level of fish processing will be enhanced to increase the per capita share of fish.
Prior to Al-Fayrouz, Egypt was already the largest fish farming country in Africa and eighth globally. The new project is expected to boost the already 2 million tons of fish produced in that country by adding some 150 thousand tons. The country is thought to consume some 2.4 million tons and the goal is to make Egypt self-sufficient and large exporters of fish.