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Fishing Industry To Become Commercialised

2011-12-23 8:29:00

ETHIOPIA - The Ethiopian Ministry of Agriculture (MOA) is planning to develop and globally promote Ethiopia�s fish industry.

At present there are 180 different species of fish in Ethiopia, 30 of which are native, but there are only 30 investors who have obtained licenses for commercial fishing.

Capital reports that to inaugurate commercial aquaculture, MOA is to establish seed production centers which can supply interested companies, facilitate access to credit, provide basic marketing infrastructure such as road and communication channels, encourage private sector investment in different aspects, establish regular institutional coordination mechanism among stakeholders, strengthen research and extension supports, establish clear and secure user rights to land and water favourable to aquaculture investment, promote fish farming and develop and support continuing training and avoid unnecessary costs for applicants in acquiring necessary rights to land and water and the right to undertake aquaculture operations.

The Ministry feels that the country is ready to establish a fish industry for the following reasons: the country�s agro-ecologies and climatic conditions, availability of commercially important fish species suitable for aquaculture (tilapia, catfish, carp etc.), increasing demand for fish and fish products both locally and abroad and the wide variety of fish species.

Capital states that the ministry feels that investors will be attracted by the diversity in fish species including trout and carp and plants with high protein and pharmaceutical value like Spirulina.

Lack of knowledge about aquaculture, limited technical capacity, trained man power and facilities, the food culture of the people, lack of infrastructure and equipment, lack of quality seeds, inadequate (accessible, affordable and available) feed are the major causes for the delayed commercial aquaculture in Ethiopia, the presentation of the Ministry of Agriculture showed.

The Ministry of Agriculture�s survey also showed that in Ethiopia the diets are dominated by carbohydrates derived from cereals which have low protein. However, the demand for fish in major cities has risen sharply.

The types of aquaculture existing in the country are culture based capture fishery, integrated aquaculture- agriculture farming, cage culture which is currently practiced in North Showa, Amhara region and East Showa Oromia region, culture based capture fishery which is stocking water bodies with fry and fingerlings and the subsequent harvesting by fishers of a stock which may or may not be self replicating. Aquaculture in Ethiopia has a production rate of 23 kg per cage.

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