Pisciculture or fish farming is the rearing of fish commercially in tanks or enclosures such as fish ponds, usually for food. The ability of man to tame nature and deduce from her the needed resources have been key to his survival. Fish farming goes a long extent to display this primordial characteristic.
Nutrition is a basic necessity of man. And to have a balanced diet, one cannot afford to ignore protein intake. Fish happens to be one of the major sources of protein for many people in the world. So much so that man has fished some aquatic species into extinction. The water bodies of the world are now recording the lowest yield of fishes ever. And if something isn’t done soon, they will be totally depleted.
In Africa alone, the population is expected to double from 1.2 billion to 2.4 billion by 2050. Not to mention the continents of Asia, Europe and the Americas. Some of the pressing matters remain the issue of unemployment and provision of basic human need like food and clean drinking water. Recently, the launch of the WealthBankers job arena listed numerous aquaculture and agriculture related jobs in about 19 English speaking countries in Africa. The career guidance and counseling prompted the vibrant youths to pursue careers in Agriculture and take commercial fish farming seriously.
Evidently, there is an increasing demand for fish and fish protein. Currently, “China provides 62% of the world’s farmed fishes.” Mainly for commercial purposes. And “as of 2016, more than 50% of the world’s sea food was produced by aquaculture.”
This figures are impressive, yet they are far from satisfying the world’s demands for fishes. As the laws of economics dictate, scarcity drives value. So, the high demands for fishes has resulted in an increase in their prices. For many, fish is now almost as expensive as chicken, beef and pork. Much to the benefit of those in the fish business. Now fishermen and fish farmers are making unbelievable profits from their sales.
However, for the fisherman, it’s ultimately a business of diminishing returns. As the years went by, fishermen all over the year have witnessed the gradual decrease in the fish stock. Bad fishing practices, fish migration, pollution and climate change among many others are the cause.
World organizations and governments have identified the crucial need to keep supply up with the demand for fishes. The only option left is the rearing of fishes in a controlled environment. Away from pollutants and other hazards. For this reason, countries in the developed world have seriously taken up fish farming. With new and improved technologies to maximize yield, the fish farming in countries like China has been booming. So much so that China exports its fishes to other countries as foreign exchange. Moreover, this measure has provided ample employment for a huge population of Chinese.
According to the Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO), Africa only produces 2% of the 30% global fish supply being meet by fish farming. Obviously, there is the need for more effort and support for the small few who are already in the field.
In addition, Agriculture as a whole needs to be made more attractive to the youth and graduates of Africa. The erroneous notion that aquaculture is a dirty and profitless endeavor needs to be eradicated from the minds of both the upcoming generations and unemployed multitudes across the continent. There are 100s if not 1000s of agriculture related jobs on online job boards like the WealthBankers job arena. But, most job seekers still choose not to apply for them.
Article By Faustinus
One of Africa’s most loved writers, blogger, entrepreneur, marketer, and public speaker extraordinaire, Faustinus enjoys writing about the post-industrial revolution and how people in this new emerging economies can better adjust and leverage the tools at their disposal to facilitate the much needed change in their worlds.