How RAS farming can alleviate environmental pressure in East Africa
The development of a sustainable aquaculture sector can play an important role in providing livelihoods for people living around Lake Victoria, according to Kyra Hoevenaars, AquaBioTech Group’s project manager in the VicInAqua initiative.
Lake Victoria in Eastern Africa, the second largest freshwater lake in the world, is a vital resource for the surrounding countries, providing communities with water, food and employment. The fishery sector is the main employer in Lake Victoria basin, being a major source of income for the population and an important part of the national economies in the region. However, the lake is under pressure due to overfishing, water shortages and severe pollution.
Promoting the use of more sustainable aquaculture systems, such as recirculating aquaculture systems (RAS), in the region is now more important than ever and can provide livelihood opportunities while reducing the sector’s environmental impact on the lake.
Currently, the aquaculture sector in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda mainly consists of small-scale farmers using earthen ponds to grow their fish – largely tilapia, but some catfish too. These are low-maintenance, easily managed systems but can only sustain low stocking densities. Read the article.