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First marine shrimp RAS farm has been announced for the UAE

February 22, 2022  By RAStech Editorial Staff

Prime Aquaculture FZE, an Emirates National Aquaculture LLC subsidiary, has signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) with Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) to build the region’s first shrimp recirculating aquaculture system (RAS) farm.

The farm, which is projected to be completed by Q1 2023, will help significantly increase the United Arab Emirates’ (UAE’s) output of marine shrimp to meet the region’s increasing demand. The facility will include a shrimp farm, hatchery, and primary and secondary processing units. Prime Aquaculture will also incorporate the industry’s latest technology in the shrimp farm, including RAS technology, which will help the farm produce its goal of more than 1,000 metric tons (MT) of shrimp per year, which is three times more than the UAE’s current shrimp production.

The farm is also poised to meet the UAE’s National Food Security Strategy 2051 objectives, which will enable sustainable food production by using modern technologies and solutions.


The MoU was signed by Abdulla Bin Damithan, CEO and managing director of DP World UAE & Jafza and Imtiyaz Abdul Razak Kalsekar, managing director of Prime Aquaculture FZE.

“The UAE’s food trade exceeds AED 100 billion annually, and food and beverage investments in the nation stand at a total of AED 62 billion,” said Bin Damithan. “This is proof that the F&B sector is one of the most lucrative industries driving the UAE’s economy. One key driver of this vital industry’s growth is its aquaculture sector. We believe that strategic partnerships and technological investments in this sector are critical to enhance production efficiency and ensure its security over the longer term.”

The UAE relies heavily on imports to cater to local shrimp demands, with more than 51,000 MT of shrimps being imported per year. The total local consumption of shrimps ranges between 38,000 and 40,000 MT, with pre-COVID-19 imports going up to 51,108 MT, and export and re-exports reaching up to 12,204 MT.

“During the pandemic, when travel restrictions were imposed, the importance of local production was highlighted,” said Kalsekar. “We, at the Emirates National Aquaculture, plan to enhance the UAE’s food security by doubling the current aquaculture production over the next three years, Emirates National Aquaculture along with Prime Aquaculture FZE will add 3,400 MT per year to UAE’s aquaculture production, which stood at approximately 3,200 MT per year in 2021. Establishing our shrimp farm in Jafza is a massive step towards achieving this objective.”

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