Algeria’s Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Productions has announced that thirty-four (34) participation requests for the 2024 bluefin tuna fishing campaign, set to commence on May 26, have been submitted by shipowners to the local fisheries and aquaculture authorities. This information was revealed by Aomar Ouchelli, the Deputy Director of Large-Scale and Specialized Fishing at the Ministry of Fisheries and Aquatic Productions.

The submission of these requests follows the publication of the participation notice for the campaign, in accordance with the provisions of the February 24, 2022 decree outlining the conditions and modalities of bluefin tuna fishing by vessels flying the national flag, Mr. Ouchelli explained to APS.

In the upcoming meeting of the ministerial commission responsible for preparing the bluefin tuna fishing campaign, these requests will be reviewed before allocating individual quotas to selected shipowners from the national quota of bluefin tuna, set at 2,046 tons this year, which is 23 tons more than the 2023 campaign.

Mr. Ouchelli emphasized that the next step in preparing for the high-sea tuna fishing campaign is the issuance of fishing permits to selected shipowners before forming joint fishing groups and finalizing the technical details of the operation.

Additionally, Mr. Ouchelli noted that, as part of these preparations, 34 inspectors from the fisheries inspection corps will be designated for the 2024 campaign. Once the list of inspectors is finalized, briefings on the recommendations for this type of fishing, in accordance with national and international regulations, will be provided to this staff accompanying the vessels.

Furthermore, preparations include the compilation of a list of trainees from among young lieutenants from fisheries institutions under supervision, who will participate in this campaign. Mr. Ouchelli assured that this event serves as “a learning workshop for trainees,” allowing them to familiarize themselves with fishing operations and their technical and logistical environment.

Mr. Ouchelli also highlighted that the 2024 bluefin tuna fishing campaign is marked by the registration with the International Commission for the Conservation of Atlantic Tunas (ICCAT) of an Algerian tuna fattening farm, planned at the port of Honaïne in the Tlemcen province, in a groundbreaking development that significantly opens up prospects for the tuna sector in Algeria.

“The Algerian plan for bluefin tuna fishing for the year 2024, validated by ICCAT last March, includes, in addition to the request for an increase in the capacity of the bluefin tuna fishing fleet and the approval of the adjustment of Algeria’s quota, the registration for the first time of an Algerian bluefin tuna fattening farm in the ICCAT register,” he affirmed.

The same official detailed that the operation of the tuna fattening activity requires its registration in the ICCAT register, while indicating that the project for this fattening farm is in the process of acquiring the necessary facilities.

“All necessary local and international authorizations for the launch of this project have been obtained by the operator owning this farm,” Mr. Ouchelli affirmed, adding that the provincial commission (Tlemcen) responsible for validating the location of the farm has also given its approval.

Emphasizing “the added value” of such a project for the tuna sector and for the national economy, the same official assured that “a whole dynamic will be created around this bluefin tuna fattening farm,” including new jobs required for this activity such as towing and diving.

He also assured that the commencement of operations at this farm will enable Algeria to export, in the near future, fattened tuna and will provide the fishing sector with an opportunity to increase its contribution to non-hydrocarbon exports and foreign currency earnings.