Potential of Smart Aquaculture Technologies on Improving Fish Production in Malawi
The effects of climate change have not only affected crop production in Malawi but also aquaculture (fish farming). Aquaculture in Malawi begun in as early as 1906 with the culture of rainbow trout for angling. In 1956/1957 pond culture of indigenous species (Oreochromis shiranus and Tilapia rendalli) begun. However, most of wetlands, rivers, and streams that were perennial and could be diverted for the purpose of fish farming are becoming annual. This scenario has made fish farming increasingly becoming a challenge in areas that were once suitable for the enterprise, as fish ponds are drying up annually due to lack of adequate water supply. This is defeating the potential of fish farming in successfully supplementing the declining fish catches from capture fisheries on the market.
Rainwater harvest can be adopted for fish farming to do away with a problem of water availability throughout the year. Integrated aquaculture agriculture systems are also known to increase resilience of fish farming to climate change. Cage culture is another technology that can improve fish farming in the face of climate change. Cage culture enables fish farmers to overcome the problem of ponds drying up by culturing the fish in perennial water bodies such as lakes, dams, and rivers in confinements.
KeywordsCage culture Rainwater harvest Aquaculture Climate change Food security Malawi
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