Key words: Constraint; Ethiopia; Fish; Fishery; Opportunity;
It is estimated that the inland fisheries of Africa produce 2.1million tons of fish, which represents 24% of the total global production from inland waters . According to Food and agricultural organization (1) in developing countries accounted for 49 percent of world exports. With growing trade in fish products, there is growing concern about the possible effects on developing country consumption and nutrition . Ethiopia is the largest livestock populations in the Africa. The livestock sector accounts for over 26 percent of agricultural GDP (2009/10) and 8 percent of export earnings (2010) and can produce over 51,500 tons of fish per annum. However, their exploitation and consequently their contributions to food security and growth in the country are minimal despite the technologies capable of resolving the problems of livestock and fisheries production .
At present, the country Ethiopia has an estimated annual total exploitable fish potential of 51,481 tons, which can meet only 79 percent of the current actual demand, 55 percent of the projected demand in 2010 and44 percent of the projected demand in 2015, based solely on population size . Fish is highly nutritious, so even small quantities can improve people’s diets. Fish provides about 20 percent of animal protein intake in developing countries and this can reach 90 percent in Small Island Developing States or coastal areas Fisheries can also contribute indirectly to food security by providing revenue for food- deficient countries to purchase food Fish exports from low-income, food-deficient countries are equivalent to 50 percent of the cost of their food imports .
The inland water body of Ethiopia is estimated to encompass about 7,400 km2 of lake area and a total river length of about 7,000 km. As many other countries challenged in the world, population rise urbanization, agricultural development, industrialization and other water resource development activities have resulted in a decrease in the species diversity of freshwater fish species. Fisheries production is also under-exploited while current demand exceeds supply by about four-fold. One of the big and immediate challenges of our country is addressing the problems of food security and poverty .
Currently, about 45% of the total population is living under poverty and the level of impoverishment is worse in rural areas, where 85% of the total inhabitants’ dwell . Artisanal freshwater fishery is one of the most important economic activities in Ethiopia, . Improvements in fishery sector would contribute to poverty alleviation and environmental sustainability in Ethiopia . The benefits gained from the development of fisheries are significant. From local to global levels, fisheries and aquaculture play important roles in food supply, income generation and nutrition .
It is apparent that aquaculture in Ethiopia remains more potential than actual practice or is non-existent; despite the fact that the country’s physical and socio-economic conditions support its development . There are many rivers and lake available in Ethiopia which used for a fish production, but there is still a problem regarding fish production and productivity to increase the profit of private and GDP of the country.
Therefore, the objectives of this seminar are:
1. To review the Opportunity and challenges of Fishery in Ethiopia and the status of the Fish Production and Management in Ethiopia
2. To provide recommendation for future development of fishery in the country
Fish today provides the main source of animal protein for 20 percent of the world’s population. At the same time, some 40 percent of the global fish production is traded internationally. During the period 1982–2002, the net exports of fishery commodities by developing countries (i.e. deducting their imports from the total value of their exports) increased from US$ 4.0 billion to $17.4 billion. This was greater than the net exports of other agricultural commodities, such as rice, cocoa, tobacco, and tea. Fish is indeed a global good, caught all around the world and exported for trade almost everywhere. The global seafood market offers a lot of opportunities, but also raises challenges in terms of how such aquatic resources are managed .
In Ethiopia, wetlands are distributed across different ecological ranges. The Rift valley ecosystem is one of these ecological systems and provide ecological functions which maintain and protect nature and human systems through services such as the maintenance of water quality, flow and storage, flood control, sand storm protection, nutrient retention and micro climatic stabilization, along with the production and consumption activities that they support. The whole Rift valley ecosystem, including its wetland drainage system and up lands, is regarded as a rich strategic site for a wide variety of resident and migratory avifauna population .
The main commercial species contributing to the total landing are Oreochromis niloticus, Labeo hori, Clarias gariepinus, Barbus species and Lates niloticus . The main species are Nile tilapia, representing 60% of the catch, . Nile perch (favored but increasingly), barbus (two species) and catfish are scarce. Besides, to its captured fisheries importance, Tilapia is one of the most important species for 21 century aquaculture stand is produced in more than 100 countries .
Tilapia is the leading species caught and consumed in Ethiopia, although this does not seize for all groups and for all areas. This is reported by different researchers, Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) is the dominant fish species of the landings . The first information about an Ethiopian fish probably appeared in the narrative of the Portuguese
Embassy sent to Ethiopia in 1520 . In the sixties, seventies and early eighties, there was little progress in discovering new fishes in the Ethiopian inland water . Over 35 fish species have been described from the Rift Valley Lakes and the Lower Omo River Basin. The fish fauna is more diverse in the Southern Rift valley lakes of Abaya and Chamo and in the Lower Omo River basin. The waters of Lake Turkana, which span the Ethiopian – Kenyan border, have high fish species diversity. Many of these migrate up the Omo River to spawn. Few studies have been carried out on the diversity level and the ecological status of this trans-boundary aquatic resource .
No. of species
No. of endemic species
Source: Getahun, 2007
Endemicity seems to be highest in Abay (Blue Nile) basin. This is attributed, in the former case, to the endemic species flock of Labeo barbus in Lake Tana . Lake Tana is a lake in the northern highlands of Ethiopia and is the source of the Blue Nile. The Blue Nile descends from Lake Tana to Tisisat Falls (ca. 40 m high), effectively isolating the lake’s freshwater fauna from the rest of the Nile . Lake Tana from Abay drainage basin exclusively has larger number of endemic species (Eighteen species) in the country . A total seventeen fish species were recorded in upper head of Blue Nile River .
Awash River Basin: The Awash River rises on the high plateau of Showa and flows northwards following the Great Rift Valley where it disappears in the desert near the Djibouti border. This river basin is the most agriculturally important river basin in Ethiopia and covers a total land important river basin in Ethiopia and covers a total land area of 110,000 km and serves as home to 10.5 million inhabitants. Awash River basin has a catchment area of 110,439.3 km. It covers parts of the Amhara, Oromia, and Afar, 2 Somali, Dire Dawa and Addis Ababa states of the country. Therefore, Awash River and its tributaries drain the central highlands, the eastern and north-eastern lowlands. A total of 10 species of fish were described from Awash River and its tributaries .
Tekeze Basin: The Tekeze River basin is located in the northwest of Ethiopia, between 11°40’ and 15°12’ north and longitude of 36°30’ and 39°50’ east. The area of the basin is about 84, 000 km. The elevation ranges from 537 to 4,517 meters above sea level. About 70 % of the basin falls in the highlands at altitude of above 1,500m.a.s.l. The upper part of the basin is dominated by rugged mountains while the western part of the basin is almost flat or slightly undulating .
The Tekeze Basin includes the Tekeze, Angereb and Guang sub-basins. The three rivers form together the Atbara River (In Sudan), which is a tributary of White Nile system entering the Nile downstream from Khartoum. The annual rainfall of the basin shows high variation. It ranges from 5,000 mm in the western part to 1,300 mm in the highlands of the basin. The Tekeze Basin is the least diverse in fish species compared to the other part of the Nile basin within the limits of Ethiopia. This could be because of the tremendous seasonal variation of water discharge in the system . Some interesting Nilo-Sudanic and east African genera from the Rivers of Shinfa and Ghendwuha which are found in Metema District, North Gondar .
Rift valley Basins: The Ethiopian Rift Valley, being the northern part of the East African Rift system, can be divided into three main zones differing in their geological structure. The Afar Rift Systems the main Ethiopian Rift of central Ethiopia and the broadly rifted zone of south western Ethiopia. The Rift Valley is South of Addis Ababa contains a system of small to medium-sized lakes, some of which are saline .
The most fished lakes are Ziway, Langano, Awassa, Chamo and Abaya. Also exploited for fishing are the two largest reservoirs, Fincha and Koka. The Ethiopian Rift Valley encompasses several isolated major basins, as well as a number of smaller isolated basins, mostly the crater lakes. The major basins are as follows: the Awash River drainage in the north; two systems of linked lakes (Zwai-Langano-Abijata-Shalla and Awasa-Shallo) and connected lotic waters in the central part; lakes Abaya, Chamo and Chew Bahir and in the south. Lake Turkana and the lower reaches of the Omo River occur in the northern their tributaries Kenya Rift, which is connected with the Main Ethiopian Rift of central Ethiopia by a 300-km-wide zone of overlap .
The Abaya and Chamo basins occupy the southern part of the Main Ethiopian Rift of central Ethiopia, whereas the Chew Bahir basin occurs in the zone of overlap of the main Ethiopian and northern Kenya Rift systems. The Rift valley is the region with highest number of introduced fish species. The fish fauna of the Ethiopian Rift Valley is characterized by a reduced number of species compared to the neighboring regions belonging to catchment areas of the Atlantic and Indian Oceans .
Omo- Gibe Basin: The Omo-Gibe River basin is known to contain high diversity of fish species with over 70 species listed. The fishery in the Omo basin includes: the riverine fishery along the main stream Omo River, flood plain fishery (Dipa Haik) and the lacustrine fishery at Lake Turkana (Bubua and Toltal) reported a total of 12 species were recorded in the Omo-Gibe basin Baro-Akobo Basin) . However, more than 90 fish species were recorded by . More recently, indicated that there are 113 fish species were recorded included in to 60 genera and 26 families. The diversity of fish fauna Baro drainage basins contains a mixture of Nilo-sudanic (Bagrus, Citharinus, Hydrocynus, Micralestus, Labeo, Mormyrus, Pollymirus and Polypterus), East African (Barbus, Clarias, Oreochromis and Sarothrodon) and endemic (Garra) forms .
Wabishebele Basin: The Wabi-Shebelle is the major river of the central Somali region. Rising between the Arsi and Bale Mountains, it flows in a southeasterly direction to Somalia. Wabi Shebelle, with a catchment area of 205,407 km, winds a length of 1340 km inside Ethiopia and a further 660 km in Somalia. The Wabi Gestro, the Ghenale River and the Dawa Parma River drain the southwestern escarpment of the eastern Ethiopian highlands. These rivers unite and become the Juba River, which eventually drains into the Indian Ocean. These Juba tributaries arise just east of Abaya and Chamo Lakes, but are separated from the lake drainages by a high mountainous divide Midway between the lower courses of the Wabi Shebelle and the Juba there is a lowlying limestone plateau with extensive underground waterways radiating out from it .
Agriculture in Ethiopia is the foundation of the country’s economy, accounting for half of gross domestic product, 83.9% of exports, and 80% of total employment. Ethiopia’s agriculture is plagued by periodic drought, soil degradation caused by overgrazing, deforestation, high levels of taxation and poor infrastructure (making it difficult and expensive to get goods to market). Yet agriculture is the country’s most promising resource. A potential exists for self-sufficiency in grains and for export development in livestock, grains, vegetables, and fruits. As many as 4.6 million people need food assistance annually .
Numerous ways of crop by-product utilization exist amongst smallholder farmers (Preston, 1995). These may have a strong cultural and economic basis and may vary from society to society depending on the type of residue available . In many developing countries, the feeding regimes aim to use crop residues and agro-industrial by-products as the principal component of the diet as these are the locally available and relatively cheap resources . Reported that, crop residues provide 40 to 50% of the animal feed requirements in Ethiopia.
Nevertheless, the fishing sector of the economy has various problems, among others, mismanagement of the resource, inappropriate policies and institution, inadequate technical and material backup to the sector and market are the major ones. Moreover, the Ethiopian lakes, on which the inland fishing is mainly practiced, are threatened by catchment’s deforestation, shore damage, water pollution, siltation and eutrophication and over fishing .
The fish stocks decline and the demand for fish and seafood increases, illegal fishing and the trade of illegal fish is becoming an increasingly reactive option for some operators. At the same time governments around the world are working together to tighten the controls on fishing vessels, fishing activities, the transport of fish and the trade of fish in an effort to stop illegal fishing and to be manage their fishery and production problems .
As a result of the Road Sector Development Program investment, the total road network in Ethiopia has increased on average by about 4.2% each year. By June 2010, the total classified road network had increased to 48,793 km (excluding community roads). This is an increase of some 22,243 km since the launch of the program in June 1997, giving a road density of 44.4 km per 1000 km2 and 0.58 km per 1000 population. By the end of Growth and Transformation Plan period, the road network is expected to reach 136,004 km, increasing the proportion of road in acceptable condition to 86.7% in 2014/15 .
Changes in global and regional climate will interact with many other factors which govern the distribution and ecology of the resources and influence the capacity and performance of the marine fisheries sector to meet future consumption rates Unlike most terrestrial animals, aquatic animal species are poikilothermic (cold-blooded) and changes in habitat temperatures will more rapidly and significantly influence metabolism, growth, reproduction and distribution, with stronger impact on fishing and aquaculture distribution and productivity. The interconnectedness of aquatic systems allows fish species to migrate with shifts in ecosystems conditions (55).
A survey conducted by the Environmental Protection Authority (EPA) also revealed that most factories located in Addis Ababa do not have any way of treating waste. Evident environmental illnesses in urban centers, especially in Addis Ababa, are the manifestations of the growing challenges . Another study conducted by the EPA revealed that privatelyowned Ethiopian Coffee and Tea Development and Marketing PLC established the Gemadro Coffee Plantation Project without going through any EIA process, even using land that was not allocated to it .
It has also been recognized that the efficiency and implement ability of the management measures are often highly dependent on the support gained from the interested parties’ . Reported integrate upstream forest and wet land protection and rehabilitation activities in to the conservation, development and management of water resources and protection of the interface between water bodies and land such as lake shores, river banks and wet land .
In both natural environments and in culture, disease has a serious impact on fish. Disease is universally recognized as one of the most serious threats to the commercial success of aquaculture . Parasitic, bacterial, protozoan and viral diseases of fish are among those diseases which has great economic and public health importance particularly in the tropics . In many cases, they have proved to be a serious problem causing economic losses in the fishing industry and in aquaculture. In fish farming, they may lead to epidemics and mortalities, and as the culture of fish becomes more intensive and widely spread, fish parasites infection will be more liable to become more serious economic and health issues .
Based on the above conclusion the following recommendations are forwarded:
• Awareness creation on fish welfare and production through training, extension service should be encouraged by the concerned bodies.
• The government should take consideration about infrastructure activities of fish production. •Giving Capacity building in various aspects of resource management
• Improve policies for enhancing private sector investments in fishery development.
• Further research should be conducted to explore abundance of fish species and fish diseases.
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