The National Institute of Halieutic Research (INRH) has unveiled its latest research vessel, the “Ibn Sina II,” dedicated to advancing scientific exploration in the realm of fisheries.
Presided over by Minister of Agriculture, Maritime Fisheries, Rural Development, and Water and Forests Mohamed Sadiki, the event was held in Agadir and celebrated the inauguration of the 22-meter-long vessel on Monday.
With a budget of MAD 34 million ($ 3.4 million), the acquisition of the vessel comes as part of Morocco’s collaboration with the European Union in the realm of maritime fishing and ocean sustainability.
The vessel, the sixth addition to the INRH research fleet, complements an advanced oceanographic research fleet crucial for Morocco’s blue economy development.
Boasting a five-day autonomy, the “Ibn Sina II” is poised to cover the entire Moroccan coastal expanse, accessing previously hard-to-reach coastal zones for high-sea oceanographic research vessels.
Equipped with two onboard laboratories for biological and chemical analyses, along with state-of-the-art oceanographic measurement devices, acoustic sounding, seafloor mapping, and the capability to deploy passive fishing gear and remotely operated vehicles, the vessel will facilitate comprehensive studies of national coastal marine ecosystems.
The inaugural ceremony included a sea demonstration showcasing the vessel’s technical and scientific prowess, a pivotal step in the Halieutis strategy to enhance INRH’s sea research capabilities by 2030.
In a statement to the MAP news agency, Sadiki highlighted the inauguration as a “strategic move within the Halieutis framework,” emphasizing its role in promoting scientific research and strengthening the fleet of modern scientific and technical vessels.
Beyond the maritime achievements, the event also shed light on aquaculture projects, with a focus on initiatives aimed at enhancing sectoral production and efficiency.
The Souss Massa region currently houses 37 aquaculture projects targeting a total production of 45,200 tonnes and an investment of MAD 458 million ($45.9 million).
Highlighting the region’s potential, a planned aquaculture hub in the Tiguert-Imi Ouaddar zone is set to support the downstream aquaculture value chain.
Covering six hectares, the hub will provide the necessary facilities for the conditioning and valorization of aquaculture products, aiming for a volume of 22,000 tonnes of packaged products.