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Development of the fishing and commercialization of the blue crabs in Bizerta and Ghar EL Melh lagoons: A case study of promotion opportunities of blue growth in Tunisia

Journal of Aquaculture & Marine Biology
Rym Ennouri, Hajer Zarrouk, Manel Fatnassi, Sami Mili


The blue crab, a species of crustaceans which originally came from the Red Sea through the Suez Canal, appeared, for the first time, in Tunisian waters in the cities of Skhira (governorate of Sfax) and Ghannouch (governorate of Gabes), at the end of 2014. After a year, this species adapted to the environment and proliferated throughout the Gulf of Gabes, to subsequently appear in the Gulf of Hammamet in 2016.In 2018, this invasive species emerged in the lagoons of Bizerte and Ghar EL-Melh. Coastal fishermen operating in crab-colonized areas have reported many problems associated with the appearance of this species in fisheries, including degradation of fishing nets, alteration of other caught species, time spent in its disentanglement, and the drop in stocks of many fish species of high commercial value in the invaded areas.
In view of these issues, the government has drawn up and funded a national plan to promote crab fishing, development and marketing in the Gulf of Gabes. Faced with the weakness of internal demand, the orientation towards the export of crab stands out as a pertinent alternative to explore.
Our project aims to develop an action plan in order to enhance the marketing of the blue crab on a national and international scale in the northern region of Tunisia, precisely in the lagoons of Bizerte and Ghar El Melh. The creation of new jobs and the improvement of incomes for the vulnerable populations of the two communes of MenzelAbderrahmen and Ghar El Melh are the main expected results of this project.


blue crabs, invasion, bizertelagoon, ghar el melh lagoon, management, tunisia, blue growth, fisheries commission, maximum sustainable yield