The WestMED National event on the blue economy in Tunisia 2023, took place in the building of the Municipality of Sfax (the country’s second largest city) on 29 September 2023.
The event was organised by WestMED’s Tunisian National Hub, in partnership with the University and Municipality of Sfax. It was opened by the Minister in charge of the General Secretariat for Maritime Affairs, the First Head of the Municipality and the Vice-President of the University of Sfax.
The event brought together around fifty people representing the various blue water activities, regional officials, academics and civil society. They spoke extensively about marine ecotourism in Tunisia and discussed the impact of the development of blue water activities on the environment.
The presentations also highlighted the effects for blue economy training and education in Tunisia.
M. Salem Miladi (National Hub Tunisia) listed the training needs in the thirteen activities of the blue economy, making a distinction between traditional and promising, upcoming sectors (Blue Biotechnologies, Renewable Marine Energies, Desalination, Yachting, Water Sports and Leisure) which are in demand, for highly qualified jobs.
He proposed far-reaching reforms to higher education and vocational training in order to develop these promising sectors and reduce the problem of unemployment among higher education graduates in Tunisia. The blue economy could be an opportunity for Tunisia to shift its development model towards these promising sectors.
The second part of the day was devoted to work in six groups relating to fishing, marine biotechnologies, the valorisation of sea products, aquaculture, tourism and the desalination of sea water. Students from the University of Sfax also took part in these groups. The recommendations can be summarised as follows:
- Further develop these sectors and create new job opportunities.
- Promote fishing by protecting it from illegal practices and using modern methods to increase production.
- Create specialised institutions in the field of marine biotechnologies by creating mechanisms to encourage the creation of projects in this field, particularly for young people.
- Enhance the value of seafood products, particularly those intended for export, in order to capture greater local added value.
- Promote aquaculture by diversifying this activity by breeding other species and using the most modern techniques to optimise food and reduce waste in order to preserve the environment.
- Vary the Tunisian tourism product and opt for sustainable tourism and encourage pescatourism.
- Develop seawater desalination to reduce the effects of water scarcity and climate change, while avoiding the impact of salt build-up.
- Reduce the negative effects of these activities on the environment and equip itself with the most recent and modern means to achieve this objective.
- Popularise the concept of the blue economy and environmental protection, particularly among children and young people.
For more information on the day and its outcomes, contact our National Hub Tunisia (Salem Miladi): email@example.com
Visit the WestMED country page Tunisia
Download Salem Miladi’s presentation on Blue Economy education in Tunisia – based on a study related to 13 sectors: