Overfishing threatens Ethiopia’s aquaculture

Overfishing at one of Ethiopia’s biggest lakes, Hawassa Lake, is threatening the future of aquaculture in a landlocked country that depends on its abundant number of lakes and rivers for fish.

According to Dawit Abreham, overfishing and silt constituted the main reasons for dwindling amounts of fish in Hawassa Lake located 170 kilometers (nearly 106 miles) south of the capital Addis Ababa.

“My association has the legal permit to cast 750 nets across the lake to fish,” he said. “But there are about 5,000 illegal nets being cast on the lake.”

“Another reason for the dwindling fish resource is the fact that the lake is increasingly losing its depth.”

“Several decades ago, the depth of the lake went as far deep as 20 meters, which now got reduced to 14 meters due to silting,” he said.

He lamented that the relevant south Ethiopian authorities were not doing enough to prevent illegal fishing which threatens the future of the lake.

“Not long ago the lake used to give 10,000 fish — Tilapia and catfish are two kinds found in the lake — but nowadays the daily catch does not exceed 3,000,” he said. … READ MORE

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