The Fisheries and Aquaculture sector in Ethiopia has historically been diminutive and practiced in small-scale traditional methods, mostly centered in the Rift Valley Lakes and Lake Tana. However, the potential for fish and aquaculture production is significant. The aquaculture sector is an emerging market with enormous growth potential. Sustainable fisheries management has become crucial to food security and poverty alleviation for the growing human population. Fisheries are thus acknowledged as an important strategy in Ethiopia.
The rural areas of Ethiopia where substantial fishing takes place benefit from the fishers’ economic activities and their related operations. This is especially so around the Great Rift Valley and areas surrounding the lakes, reservoirs, rivers, and other small water bodies with major fishing activities. In those areas, much more than in the urban and peri-urban centers, fisheries are increasingly recognized as an alternative means of addressing food security and poverty problems, consistently with the rural development objectives of the sector.
Both primary and secondary employment opportunities are enhanced with the availability of fishery resources in rural areas. And while the national mean per capita fish consumption is only 200 g, the consumption in the rural production centers of Awassa, Sodo, Gambella close to River Boro, etcetera, is as much as 10 kg/capita/year.
The inception of Aquaculture Ethiopia is to create the best possible platform for promoting and developing the aquaculture sub-sector in Ethiopia. The event is meticulously planned to be the meeting point for the aquaculture stakeholders to gather under one roof, with an overall mission of accelerating the sector growth.
Sustainability in aquaculture is critical. Introducing the concept of sustainability, through science and best management practices (BMP’s), aquaculture has the potential to change lives, aid development, and help our oceans.