The Saudi Fisheries Company was established on March 24, 1980, and has served as the main source for seafood within the Kingdom. This encompasses both fishing and aquatic farming, with the government holding 40 percent ownership in the company, while members of the private sector hold the other 60 percent.
With regard to the aquatic fishing, Saudi Fisheries determined that demand far outweighed supply. That led them in 1991 to invest in this growth strategy, especially when it came to shrimp.
The first farm, built in the city of Asir became operational two years later, with state-of-the-art technology one of the hallmarks of this operation. That same year, the Aanak Fish Farm was opened in Qatif. In 1997, further investment allowed the Red Sea Shrimp Farm to be established. Here, growth each year allowed the company to reach its expected capacity of 1,500 tons per year, which led to a 2011 expansion that now provides for maximum production of 4.500 tons.
An additional fish farm was established in the city of Oumg, with enough space to employ over 650 workers. Approximately 15 percent of those are administrative jobs, while the remaining employees help meet daily production quotas.
In order to make sure that all of the fish that’s either grown or processed remains viable, a number of cold storage facilities were set up. Two exist in Dammam, while Jazan’s structure can accommodate as much as 700 tons worth of seafood. Two smaller cold storage areas are also located in Riyadh and Jeddah, respectively.
Within this entire business structure, Saudi Fisheries works to establish smooth distribution networks that allow businesses that either sell or serve the seafood to have consistent availability for their own customers. It also seeks out new products that will help create new sources of revenue.