Friend of the Sea Certifies Moroccan Cibel Sustainable Fishmeal and Fish Oil

One of the leading canned sardines and mackerel producers and exporters in Morocco, which has been Friend of the Sea-sustainable since 2012, Cibel has now obtained Friend of the Sea international sustainability certification for its fishmeal and fish oil production.

Cibel is the acronym for Complexe Industriel Bel Hassan, a high-tech center for seafood, fishmeal, and fish oil production. It has been operating for about 55 years since 1963.

To maintain its position as one of the best Moroccan fish canning producers, Cibel is equipped with the most recently invented technological tools, and is highly certified.

Cibel is a public limited company that operates mainly in two sectors: packaging and preservation of fish; and the manufacture of flshmeal and fish oil. Cibel is one of the largest companies in Morocco, with offices and production sites located between Agadir and TAN TAN. With total revenue between U$10M-50M, Cibel is able to contribute in a meaningful way to the economic development of the entire region.

Friend of the Sea certification was achieved earlier in 2012 for Cibel’s sardines and mackerel.

The company works with a fleet of 23 purse seine and mid-water trawl fishing vessels. The fleet is strictly managed under the national fishing plan and it complies with Friend of the Sea requirements thanks to its selective fishing method, no by-catch of endangered species and stock kept within maximum sustainable yield.

“All our employees strongly believe in our duty to protect the oceans,” said Mohamed El Baissi, General Manager of Cibel. “Marine resources are essential both for their contribution to biodiversity as well as for the sustainability of our economy. This is why Friend of the Sea principles have become part of our company policy.”

In 2018, Cibel felt the need to meet an increasing market demand for sustainable products and thus Cibel started the process to certify all of its factories, including the fishmeal and fish oil plants.

According to the latest industry data, over 1/3 of fishmeal and fish oil originate from trimmings and by-cuts from processing lines. This way, waste is reduced as well as the pressure on fish stocks.

Cibel is the result of a merger of these manufacturing units specializing in the fish industry:

(1) Oued Souss Conserves (1963); (2) SMIC; (3) SAC; (4) TAN TAN specializing in fishmeal and fish oil.

Cibel, a limited liability firm, operating mainly in fish canning and production of fish meal and fish oil activities, is one of the biggest companies in the South of Morocco and has been a positive contributor to the development of this region.

Over the last years, Cibel has been equipped with the most recently invented technological tools, which has enabled it to satisfy its various and more demanding customers. Its markets include USA, South America, Europe, Middle East, Asia, and Africa. The company has about 200 permanent employees, and approximately 700 seasonal workers.

Apart from sardines and mackerel, Cibel also produces and exports anchovy and tuna to different markets worldwide.

Cibel’s quality policy:

  • Providing high quality products at the lowest cost;
  • Respecting customers’ needs;
  • Respecting delivery time;
  • Continuously developing the efficiency of staff; and
  • Continuously improving the quality management system.

Cibel’s certifications:

  • ISO-9001-2000 Certification: Cibel was awarded ISO-9001-2000 on 6-February-2003 for fish canning;
  • IFS Certification: Cibel was awarded International Food Standards (IFS) Certification (Version 4 for high level) for the manufacturing system and the conditioning of canned sardines, mackerel and tuna;
  • BRC Certification: Cibel was awarded BRC (British Retail Consortium) Global Standards Food Certification (version 4, level A) for the manufacturing system and the conditioning of canned sardines, mackerel and tuna;
  • QMP Certification: Cibel was awarded Quality Management Program Certification in July 2002; and
  • Label Maroc Certification: Cibel was awarded the Label Maroc Certification on 19-July-2001 for sardines canning.

About the Author

Vicky Viray-Mendoza
Executive Editor, Maritime Review Magazine. Special interest in Marine Environment. Retired World Bank Group Operations Analyst. Specializes in operations research, evaluation, and analysis. Education: Masters in Public Administration (George Washington University); Masters in Business Administration (University of Maryland); Post-Masters Certificate in International Finance and Global Markets (Georgetown University). BSC Management; BSC Accounting (Assumption College, San Lorenzo, Makati); Assumption High School (San Lorenzo, Makati).