Aquaculture for all

Nigeria Aims for Self-Sufficiency

Economics Politics +2 more

NIGERIA - The Lagos State Government is working towards self-sufficiency in fish production through aquaculture.

Fish is an essential food component and one of the cheapest sources of protein. Due to its low cholesterol level, it is medically acceptable to both the young and old. Unfortunately various industrial activities such as gas flaring and oil spillage as well the dumping of toxic waste into the water bodies and invasion of their natural habitat is affecting the breeding of fish in the water.

AllAfrica reports that, according to the Federal Department of Fisheries (FDF), the demand for fish protein in 2007 was 2.66 million tonnes while domestic production was 635,370 tonnes. This deficit was said to be partly augmented by massive importation of frozen fish of about 740,000 tones valued at US$594.4 million, which is a big draw-down on scarce foreign exchange. This leaves a huge deficit of 1.3 million tonnes.

Already the Lagos State Government is working towards self-sufficiency in fish production through aquaculture. According to the Commissioner for Agriculture and Cooperatives, Enock Ajiboso, aquaculture has a potential of producing 2.5 million tonnes of fish annually if fully harnessed, a figure that can comfortably address the fish need of Nigerians. Unfortunately, aquaculture production was only 85,087 tonnes in 2007 despite its enormous water resources in contrast with the state fish production capacity of about 157,000 tonnes.

To meet the fish consumption demands of Nigerians, the state government is establishing fish replenishment stations at various points in the lagoon, according to AllAfrica.

The project, which has taken off at Baiyeku, Igbogbo/Baiyeku Local Council Development Area, involved the dropping of various species of economic fish into the lagoon to sustain natural fish production to reduce fish importation and meet demand.

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