Israel sees aquaculture as engine for growth

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu

THE Israeli government last night unveiled a multi-million dollar plan to turn the city of Eliat into the country’s first dedicated aquaculture and marine biology centre.

The announcement was made by prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who declared that fish farming would become the ‘engine of growth’ for the city and Israel.

He said he wanted to turn Eliat from a tourist destination into a centre for ‘producing food from the sea’.

Part of the plan includes establishing a huge aquaculture and marine biology park in the region.

The announcement was made at a regular Israeli government cabinet meeting as part of a (US) $1.42 billion regeneration programme, which includes improved rail transport links and infrastructure improvements.

Israel is the latest country in the region to trigger huge sums for aquaculture development. Just last week Qatar signed off a deal to build one of the world’s largest shrimp farms in the state.

Netanyahu declared: ‘Perhaps the most important thing that we are going to establish here is a park to develop food from the sea.

‘This is the food of the future. We cannot continue feeding humanity with protein from the land. It is expensive. It is inefficient. It pollutes and it is difficult.

‘It will certainly remain but the protein of the future will be synthetic protein. However, that will take time until we know if it can exist.

‘What certainly exists is the ability to take small fish that turn into big fish. This is the food technology of tomorrow – and it is already here.’

He added: ‘We are going to form a concern and establish a centre here that will provide Eilat with an extraordinary future. I want to turn Eilat into a centre of knowledge and sea based food technology.’