Sustainable Aquaculture Supply in West and Central Africa (SAsWeca) Project
There is a huge shortage of fish in the Central and West Africa sub regions.
In Nigeria, which has the highest population and controls the economy of the two sub-regions, the annual fish supply deficit stands at 2.5 million metric tonnes.
This shortage has several implications on sustainable development, including in the following ways:
Food Security and Malnutrition
The shortage of fish, which happens to be the cheapest source of protein for the average Nigerian, worsens the level of malnutrition in the country.
According to the United Nations Children’s Fund (UNICEF), 32 percent of Nigerian children under the age of 5 have stunted growth, while as much as 2 million children suffer from severe acute malnutrition (SAM).
Also, 7 percent of women of childbearing age also suffer from acute malnutrition.
Overfishing and Depletion of Marine Biodiversity
Humans have been depending on wild fish stock in order to satisfy their nutritional and material needs.
Wholly depending on captured fishes – which population are already under pressure from global climate change, ocean acidification and marine pollution – to meet up with the high fish demand inWest and Central African countries will lead to overfishing.
This is not sustainable as it depletes marine resources and causes long term and irreversible damage to ecosystem biodiversity.
The phenomenon of over-fishing has become a huge problem globally, because it is a major reason why some marine species have gone extinct while others are currently endangered.
In order to tackle the problems highlighted above, more action needs to be taken to encourage the farming of fish in order to satisfy the demand by humans.
What PASDO is doing:
Under the Sustainable Aquaculture Supply in West and Central Africa (SASWeCA) project, PASDO is helping to fight barriers that affect the growth of local fish farming, whether by intending fish farmers who could set up new fish ponds, or by existing farmers who could expand on the number of ponds that they operate.
In partnership with Benuwatts Company Limited, PASDO is promoting the widespread adoption of a mobile collapsible fish pond technology built using a special grade of tarpaulin dubbed “reinforced tarpaulin”.
This technology takes care of the limitations posed by conventional fish pond technologies like concrete and earthen ponds, which make them somewhat difficult or inconvenient to use by some farmers.
For example, the collapsible fish pond is less expensive than concrete pond in terms of setup and maintenance. But that is not all.
It is mobile and can be set up within minutes in virtually any location, including in a sitting room.
Therefore, it caters to the need of millions of people who live in rented apartments (where the property management doesn’t allow building of structures like concrete ponds) or farmers who do not have a land or are not willing to tie up their piece of land with a somewhat permanent construction like concrete pond.