As I was walking along the street in my area, I noticed a Fish processor, struggling to prepare her traditional smoking kiln, I thought, fish, aside being a vital, nutrient-dense food for many nutritionally vulnerable people, including children, pregnant and lactating women, it is also a source of income.
Let’s bring it home, an average Nigerian household eat fish at least once in a week, either in it smoked, dried, fried or boiled state. No doubt, there is increased demand for fish in the country. It is distressing to know that our fish consumption in the country comes basically from importation. This got us ranked as the largest importer of frozen fish in Africa.
Smoked Blue whiting Fish (Micromesistus poutassous)
Something worth celebrating? Could we look inwardly and invest in fish farming?
This could have a rippling effect on the economy and consequently contribute greatly towards achieving the SDGs. A review of the various food production systems reveals fish farming as an important strategy in the global fight against hunger, malnutrition and poverty, particularly in developing nations including Nigeria. Therefore, in order to attain more economically, sustainable, environmentally friendly and viable production should be encouraged. There is need for Sustainable Aquaculture.
You may ask, what is Aquaculture? According to FAO (2009), Aquaculture is the farming of aquatic organisms including fish, molluscs, crustaceans and aquatic plants in a controlled environment.
Cage culture fish farm
Aquaculture, i.e. fish farming, is considered as the provider of the needed high quality animal protein and other essential micronutrients because of its affordability to the poorer segments of the community, in addition to the awareness of its richness in omega-3 fatty acids and vitamins that could help boost the immune system.
Fish self‐sufficiency is a guaranteed reality, if all key players explore the aquaculture potentials, which abound in the nation. As a strategic enabler of impact, capacity development is imperative.
More so, Participatory extension approaches should be designed to give fisher-folks the skills and knowledge they need to operate profitable aquaculture businesses.
Employees of aquaculture sector need more awareness of how aquaculture processes can be done in an eco-friendly way.
Let’s support the growth of the aquaculture sector; it is the future of fish.