New school of thought on fish

The Fish Site
by The Fish Site
2 January 2007, at 12:00am

SOUTH AFRICA - At the base of the Zomba plateau in southern Malawi, more and more villagers are digging ponds to raise fish. James Chitonya previously grew maize, with meagre returns.

But since he began fish farming (or aquaculture) several years ago, he has earned enough from fish sales to replace his grass hut with a house that has electricity and an iron-sheet roof, pay school fees for his children and buy some livestock.

A few thousand kilometres away, in Nianing, on Senegal’s coast, hundreds of women clean the 50 tons of fish caught annually by kinsfolk who venture into the Atlantic in canoes. The fish is sold to residents or to companies for export to Asia. Concerned that overfishing was beginning to deplete the stocks of offshore fish, Nianing’s fishers and fish processors welcomed support from the government and a Japanese aid agency to improve management of fishing, the village’s economic mainstay. Since the project began, the value of Nianing’s total fish output has increased by almost half.

Initiatives such as these must be replicated across Africa if the continent is to harness the promise of its fisheries to strengthen economies, reduce poverty and improve food security and nutrition, argue promoters of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (Nepad). Although fishing in much of rural Africa tends to be overshadowed by agriculture and stock raising, it is not a marginal sector. Fishing provides direct incomes for about 10-million people, half of whom are women, and contributes to the food supply of 200-million more.

Source: Business Day