presentation at salon halieutis

WestMED shared blue economy opportunities with the aquaculture and fisheries sector at the Salon Halieutis in Morocco


The 6th edition of the Salon Halieutis took place in Agadir from February 1st to February 5th. It is the largest international event for fisheries, aquaculture and seafood processing in Morocco.

The WestMED Assistance Mechanism, and in particular, the WestMED Hub representatives from Morocco and Mauritania,  participated in the Salon. They met with visitors at the European Stand and and organised a workshop on the ‘opportunities for blue economy in Morocco.’

Mr. Mohamed Yassine El Aroussi, Moroccan National Coordinator of the WestMED from the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries, Maritime Affairs and Rural Development, welcomed the participants of the session and praised the opportunity of organizing the WestMED event in the margin of the Halieutis Salon which provides a valuable platform for experts to come together and share their knowledge and experiences.

He also extended a warm welcome to the newly appointed Moroccan expert, Mr. Lahbib Latrach, who will be serving as the WestMED Expert Hub for Morocco. Mr. El Aroussi assured that the Moroccan focal point is ready and committed to working closely together. This cooperation is expected to bring about new and exciting opportunities for the success of the WestMED Initiative.

Mr. El Aroussi also expressed great pleasure in welcoming the Mauritanian WestMED team and the value of this participation, thus showcasing  the strong commitment of Mauritania towards the development and growth of the blue economy in the western Mediterranean.

Mr. Lahbib Latrach, introduced the WestMED Initiative background, structure, mission, vision and the corresponding technical program. He highlighted the importance of involving all stakeholders including governments, research and educational institutions, non-governmental organizations as well as the private sector to enhance innovation, building capacities, knowledge exchange in order to create a national alliance that enhances the blue economy sectors. His intervention was closed by sharing results from some assisted projects, and funding calls available for blue economy projects.

From the Mauritanian WestMED National Hub, Mr. Mohamed Lemine Abdel Hamid presented an overview of the WestMED initiative, the main projects, the opportunities of financing and the main achievments during the last four years. He also remarked during the session the priorities of the new WestMED Co-Presidency of Mauritania and Malta for 2023. At national level, Mauritania has set ambitious targets on blue economy that includes the promotion of sustainable fisheries and aquaculture, the development of a maritime cluster that brings together all the actors of the sea, development of maritime transport and development of Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP).

In the framework of the WestMED Initiative and supported by CINEA and DG MARE, the Community of Practice on Maritime Spatial Planning (MSP) for the Mediterranean was launched on January 26th at the kick-off meeting in Brussels. Ms. Laila BENSMAIL, member of the WestMED Steering Committee and national expert in MSP, presented the Community of Practice at the Salon Halieutis. The main objective of the MED-MSP-CoP is to establish a permanent communication and dialogue across borders between experts on MSP (i.e. planners, technical experts, researchers), and to exchange knowledge and relevant experiences in the region, so as to reach a shared perspective on topics of common interest on MSP and enhance the cooperation between the north and the south of the Mediterranean. Developing MSP at countries such as Morocco and Mauritania is one of the key priorities for the national governments.

Then, the European Commission (DG MARE) presented the calls for proposals in 2021 and 2022 related to the flagship projects on blue economy in the Western Mediterranean. The first call for proposals in 2021 was  aimed at strengthening competitiveness and sustainability of coastal and maritime tourism sectors in the western Mediterranean. While the 2022 call focused on two new topics: green shipping and ports and maritime clusters. More information at:

As examples of good practices of funded projects from the EMFAF calls, three blue economy projects were presented at the Salon: REBOOT MED – Recovering, Experiencing and Boosting eco-tourism in the WestMed, AFRIMED: Algal Forest Restoration In the MEDiterranean Sea and E-FishMed project: virtual academy on fisheries inspection and control.

All in all, it proved to be an inspiring  workshop for visitors and a good place for the WestMED to meet and interact with this fast growing and important sector.

presenters WestMED workshop Salon Halieutis 2023