Discover the Top 10 Aquaculture Trends in UAE, Saudi Arabia & MEA

July 04, 2024 | Agribusiness

Aquaculture is becoming increasingly important in the United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, and the wider Middle East and Africa (MEA) region. This industry provides a sustainable solution to meet the growing demand for seafood.

The UAE's aquaculture market alone is projected to grow at a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 4.7% . Saudi Arabia aims to produce 600 K tons of fish annually by 2030, highlighting the sector's significance.

Advancements in technology and innovative farming methods are transforming aquaculture, making it more efficient and environmentally friendly.

The following trends showcase the latest innovations and promising startups driving growth and sustainability in the sector.

Top 10 Aquaculture Trends in UAE, Saudi Arabia & MEA

The aquaculture industry in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the wider MEA region is experiencing rapid growth and innovation. These trends are driving the sector towards sustainability, efficiency, and higher productivity. Here are the top 10 trends shaping the future of aquaculture in this region:

1. Urban Aquaculture

Urban aquaculture is gaining traction due to the increasing demand for seafood in densely populated cities. Innovations such as the Aqua Towers by Vertical Oceans and the Fish Aquacubes System by Moina are leading the way. Aqua Towers are vertical farming systems designed to grow shrimp, fish, and algae in urban settings, using smart algorithms to manage the ecosystem without chemicals.

Moina's Fish Aquacubes System uses AI to manage water-recirculating cubes that grow healthy fish from microalgae. This makes urban fish farming efficient and sustainable.

2. Shrimp Farming

Shrimp farming is becoming more advanced with new technologies improving efficiency and sustainability. Aquapurna has developed advanced land-based shrimp farming methods using their Smart Reef System. This system mimics natural reef environments, which improves shrimp well-being and yield. The Smart Reef System automates the monitoring and analysis of various parameters, ensuring that shrimp remain stress-free and healthy throughout the farming process.

3. Wastewater Management

Effective wastewater management is vital for maintaining water quality in aquaculture. Shenzhen Meixing Intelligent has developed systems to monitor and control water quality in fishing ponds. Their Monitoring Star system automatically detects and records water quality parameters, such as temperature, pH, and dissolved oxygen levels. This data is transmitted to farmers' mobile devices in real-time, providing alerts if any parameters fall outside the optimal range.

4. Data-Driven Fish Breeding

Data-driven fish breeding accelerates the breeding process and improves sustainability. Regional Fish uses high-speed breeding technologies to enhance production. Sea2Cell focuses on developing sustainable cell-based fish. This technology involves cultivating fish cells in a controlled environment, reducing the need for traditional fish farming.

Leveraging data to optimize the growth conditions for these cells, Sea2Cell ensures a consistent and sustainable supply of fish, which helps reduce the pressure on wild fish populations and supports ethical aquaculture practices.

5. Recirculating Aquaculture System (RAS)

Recirculating Aquaculture Systems (RAS) are essential for sustainable fish farming. Manjeera Aqua produces RAS that creates controlled environments for fish, reducing the environmental impact. Solar Oyster's floating shellfish systems are another innovative approach, integrating solar power to support sustainable aquaculture.

6. Alternatives to Sea-sourced Food

Alternatives to sea-sourced food are being developed to reduce pressure on wild fish populations. Seatrients produces sea moss drinks rich in nutrients, and Seabloom creates seaweed-based tuna, offering sustainable and nutritious alternatives to traditional seafood.

7. Precision Aquaculture

Precision aquaculture uses advanced technologies to optimize fish farming. Eseidon has developed the first smart sorting device, which automates the sorting of fish based on size and weight. OnDeck Fisheries employs AI to monitor fisheries. This ensures efficient and sustainable operations.

8. Marine Genetics

Marine genetics plays a vital role in improving fish health and productivity. Metamorphotech engineers marine bacteria to enhance fish growth and resilience. Sono Biosciences focuses on fish genome editing, which can lead to healthier and more robust fish populations.

9. Fish Therapeutics

Fish therapeutics help maintain the health of aquaculture species. MariHealth Solutions offers comprehensive health management services for aquaculture, while GreenSage develops aquaculture coconut prebiotics that boost fish immunity and growth.

10. Smart Feeding

Smart feeding technologies ensure fish receive the right nutrients efficiently. Biofeyn provides nutrient delivery systems for salmon, and Ittinsect produces bio manufactured aquaculture feed, which is more sustainable and tailored to the nutritional needs of fish.

These trends highlight the innovative approaches and technological advancements that are transforming aquaculture in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the MEA region. By adopting these trends, the industry can achieve greater sustainability, efficiency, and productivity.


The aquaculture industry in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, and the wider MEA region is witnessing significant advancements driven by innovative technologies and sustainable practices.

The trends and companies highlighted here represent just a glimpse of the many innovations we discovered through our comprehensive data-driven analysis and startup scouting.

These trends are transforming the industry, from urban aquaculture and shrimp farming to wastewater management and data-driven fish breeding. Embracing these advancements will help the region achieve greater sustainability, efficiency, and productivity in aquaculture.

Continued investment and innovation in these areas will ensure that the aquaculture sector remains strong and capable of meeting the growing demand for seafood while protecting the environment and supporting economic growth.

Read our latest insights, ideas, and perspectives that explore the trends shaping the future of business and society. Our consultancy services go hand-in-hand with these insights, confirming our position as industry leaders. Get in touch to find out more about our consulting services and industry expertise.

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