Africa has a Fish on the Line, Who Can Reel it in? An Insight into the Aquaculture Development in Nigeria


  • Lilian O. Elekwachi University of Massachusetts Boston, Boston, United States




Aquaculture is not thriving in Africa, as it is in Asia (FAO, 2020). The situation in Nigeria is typical of many countries in Africa – sporadic attempts at fish farming which rarely develop into large-scale and sustained production. Nigeria has a very high growth potential for aquaculture development (Ozigbo, et al, 2014; FAO, 2017), especially in the coastal regions, including the Niger Delta. The country’s 853km extensive coastline, 1,010,000ha of perennial swamp, 12,500,000ha of fresh water, 79,100,000ha of landmass, 741,509ha of brackish water, and 48,695ha of marine water suitable for aquaculture, remains largely untapped (Anetekhai, 2004). There are several studies of the problems faced by fish farmers in Nigeria preventing their successful expansion (Adewumi and Olaleye, 2010; Ajana, 2007; Ugwumba and Orji, 2007; Ozigbo et al, 2014; Spauldings et al, 1997, FAO, 2017; Adedeji and Okocha, 2011, Adewumi, 2015), but few studies have concentrated on the role of governance in dealing (or failing to deal) with these problems. This paper seeks to fill this gap by critically examining the place of governance in relation to the country’s aquaculture industry. The paper focuses on fish farming in the Niger Delta where the situation is particularly bleak. The obstacles to the growth of aquaculture in the Niger Delta that are most often discussed are environmental, economic, educational, and scientific, but lack of governmental understanding of the industry and weak political will are critical factors in preventing sustainable solutions to these problems being implemented.


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How to Cite

L. O. Elekwachi, “Africa has a Fish on the Line, Who Can Reel it in? An Insight into the Aquaculture Development in Nigeria”, IJRESM, vol. 6, no. 7, pp. 20–25, Jul. 2023, Accessed: Apr. 18, 2024. [Online]. Available: