For numerous years, Algeria been facing significant socio-economic challenges, specifically a low-resilience and hydrocarbon-dependent economic model, a high unemployment rate and strong pressure on the coastline. To address such challenges, the Algerian government has decided to undertake a vast project to develop its blue economy and consider it as an opportunity and an alternative to the hydrocarbon exports income and to improve its social resilience.
Blue economy is a new concept that reflects the awareness of local actors and decision-makers with regards to the importance of the sea in the global economy. The concept also refers to the circular economy, since blue economy tends towards an economic model focused on not producing waste or emissions and that has a positive impact on job creation. The main issues of blue economy are thus: sustainable resource management; raw materials; and financial stakes and associated jobs.
With this in mind, and building on its experience in the sector (AETS is currently leader of the Assistance Mechanism for the Atlantic sea basin and partner in the Facility for Blue Growth in the Black Sea), AETS has recently been awarded a new EU-funded contract to support the General Directorate of Maritime Fisheries and Aquaculture (Ministry of Agriculture, rural development and fisheries) in its Blue Economy Strategy, and to identify and formulate a programme to support the fisheries sector in Algeria. Such a programme will have to grasp and include issues such as sustainable management of fisheries resources, the protection of marine ecosystems and social inclusion, in an overall integrated vision of the blue economy.
Mainly based in Alger and with an estimated budget of € 291 202, the project will last 8 months. Composed of 6 experts, the AETS team will organize and conduct consultation workshops in Alger, Oran and other coastal cities with different stakeholders, including the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and rural development, Ministry of Environment, Ministry of Maritime Transport, municipalities, companies, higher education and scientific research bodies, as well as the Marine National Services Coast Guards. The experts will then design the intervention program and propose an intervention logic.
Considering the geostrategic and economic stakes, the sea is a major asset for Algeria. A sustainable management of marine resources and ocean space will be critical to developing new opportunities and, at the same time, preserving marine and coastal biodiversity.