industry 'in crisis'
22 August 2005
please see also: http://www.ecop.info/e-news/e-news-05-01-1.htm
employs up to 10 million people in Africa
Africa's fisheries industry is facing a crisis, experts have
claimed, with over-fishing and a lack of investment
threatening its long-term future.
The warning came ahead
of a four day conference in Nigeria to discuss ways to stimulate
small-scale fish farming and to improve aquaculture.
Fishing is vital to
Africa, supporting annual exports worth about $3bn.
Fish is also crucial
to the health of 200 million Africans, providing a source of
The Fish For All
summit, beginning on Monday in the Nigerian capital Abuja, will
seek sustainable ways of reviving Africa's dwindling fish stocks
while protecting employment in the industry.
Ahead of the meeting,
research organisation WorldFish Center warned that stocks were so
depleted that a 20% increase in fish farming would be needed to
maintain consumption at its current level.
It said that
large-scale commercial farming had exploited food stocks as
well as endangering the environment.
continent's fish stocks is crucial to safeguarding Africa's
food security, development agencies will argue this week.
We need to appreciate
that our fish have a critical role to play in Africa's
"We need to
appreciate that our fish have a critical role to play in Africa's
development," Professor Richard Mkandawire, senior
agricultural advisor for the New Partnership for African
Development (Nepad) told the BBC's Network Africa Programme.
at a national, regional and international level is needed to
Fish catches have
fallen sharply across the continent in recent years, resulting in
a significant decline in consumption.
believe small-scale fish farming is the answer to building up fish
stocks, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa.
At the summit, it will
call for targeted investment of $30m in small-scale projects in an
effort to increase stocks by 10%.
"We are talking
about ponds on people's farms, not enormous fish farms of the kind
you see in Scotland and elsewhere," Patrick Dugan, the
Center's deputy director-general, told the Financial Times.
would improve the preservation and packaging of fish and speed up
its route to market, especially in coastal areas.
Fisheries are a major
source of employment in Africa, with up to 10 million people
working in the industry.
Fish also has a key
role to play in sustaining public health, Professor Mkandawire
added, supplying a vital source of protein for HIV sufferers.
In that regard, it was
vital that governments across Africa worked together to improve
management of stocks.
"National governments as well as the private sector have
enough resources to stimulate the growth of aquaculture," he