The fishery sector plays a major socio‐economic role and is one of the pillars of the national economy. The foreign currency inflow and the wealth it generates means it is a strategic sector, not only in sustaining macroeconomic stability, but also in making a dynamic contribution to the country’s development in terms of employment (with more than 660,000 jobs that provide a living for some 3 million people), food security and income, as well as in creating momentum for other sectors of the national economy.
Thanks to its abundant fishery resources and its privileged geographical position, Morocco is one of the top African countries in the production and export of fishery products. In 2011, Moroccan exports of fishery products amounted to MAD 11.7 billion, comprising 58% of food products exports and 6.8% of overall exports. While significant, these achievements do not yet reflect the potential of a sector that offers considerable opportunities to boost export competitiveness.
Indeed, given the considerable fishery resources of our coastline, the closeness to potential markets, notably in Europe, the free trade agreements signed with foreign partners, and the large experience gained by Moroccan operators in processing and packaging fishery products, Morocco has a solid competitive advantage on the international fishery products market.
Moreover, the implementation of major sector based development plans, such as the Halieutis Plan, the Green Morocco Plan, the Emergence Plan, the Rawaj Plan and the Logistics Plan, as well as the structuring measures undertaken, should contribute, directly and indirectly, to improved competitiveness in the sector of fishery products exports. Nevertheless, the sector’s improved competitiveness can only be achieved by better understanding the sector’s potential, capitalizing on the sector’s strengths, addressing its weaknesses and constraints to its development, and finally putting in place specific and adequate public support mechanisms.