EGYPT : Total fish production in Egypt reached 1.53 million tonnes in 2015, compared to 1.48 million tonnes in the previous year, an increase of 2.5 per cent, despite the many challenges and obstacles faced by the industry.
This announcement was made by the Central Agency for Public Mobilization and Statistics (CAPMAS) in its “2017 Annual Bulletin of Fish Production Statistics for 2015.”
According to CAPMAS, this increase was due to fish farm production and rice fields, The Daily News Egypt reported.
The report added that the production of bony fish held the first place of total fish production (97 per cent), crustaceans followed (1.2 per cent), then other varieties of fish (1.2 per cent), lung fish production (0.4 per cent), and cartilaginous fish and molluscs (0.2 per cent).
The fish farm sector claimed governmental fish production is not satisfying at all, adding that the new state-owned farms might increase it if the government knows how to run it in a better way.
Representatives of this sector also explained that the imported components of the fish industry are the main determinant for the Egyptian market, since even the local suppliers raised their prices after flotation, taking advantage of the increase of prices of imported components.
Meanwhile, the former Minister of Agriculture, Essam Fayed, pointed out that the ministry has a plan to develop fisheries in Egypt by increasing fish production as to meet the domestic consumption and compensate for the shortage of meat.
Fayed added in a press statement that this plan relies on the expansion of intensive aquaculture and marine hatchery, noting that the ministry has already established a fish hatchery at kilometre 21 of the Cairo-Alexandria-Matrouh road, financed by an Italian grant.
He continued, stating that another fish hatchery was created on the coast of Bardawil Lake for high-value fish at a cost of EGP 31 million (USD 1.7 million) —in addition to 140 sea cages in Mariout Valley to produce 700 tonnes of fish.
Moreover, in order to increase the production, a fish farm was established in the New Valley governorate on an area of 25 feddans (25.95 acres)—using fresh water from wells—while another fish farm in South Sinai was built on an area of three feddans (3.114 acres) for the production of tilapia. According to Fayed, Egypt ranks first in Africa and the Middle East in aquaculture for the production of tilapia.
On the other hand, fishermen seem to be having a hard time under the current circumstances due to the high prices of spare parts and the lower amounts of fish they catch.