Seafood Processing & Exporters
The earliest freshwater aquaculture trials (fish farming) were
carried out in the 1970s and involved the culturing of Tilapia
fish in small family fishponds by farmers in their rice fields
in the fresh water zone of the river. The
Catholic Relief Services (CRS) with assistance from the US Peace
(PCVs) and the Department of Fisheries has also carried out culture
Such earlier efforts at pond culture failed to produce the desired
production levels however, important lessons were learnt by the
Fisheries Department which is has used to set up pilot fish ponds
in the rice growing areas of Gambia.
In 1982 a company called West African Aquaculture engaged in fish
farming to raise the P. Monodon from lava to maturity. Of the
original 200 ha only 50 are being used today which in 2006 produced
Two fish farms were being operated Pirang and Sanyang Point by
Scan Gambia Ltd. of Norway who introduced the foreign Black Tiger
Prawn (Peneaus monodon) in 1988 but closed down in 1992 due to
1982, The Gambia: industrial farm, “West Africa Aquaculture” (WAAq)
Semi-intensive farm raising includes a hatchery and a processing
plant producing to EUstandards. Of the original 200 hectares,
only 50 are being used for production today. With a production
of 50 tons in 2006, this farm is the only one in West Africa today
with the capacity to serve as a base for modeling production methods
adapted to the local context.
The development of Oyster cultivation in Gambia has been a priority
for the Government for some years now. The Department of Fisheries
has conducted research studies on the mangrove oyster of West
Africa Ostrea (Crassostrea) tulipa which indicates great commercial
potential though the market has not yet been adequately identified.
The rack system for harvesting the mollusk delicacy has proved
a more efficient method for their exploitation that the more sustainable
alternative than the current harvesting method and was less destructive
on mangrove ecology. Policy makers want to encourage less destructive
methods, increase oyster production as well as better access to
credit facilities for low income producers.
Aquaculture activities are currently being carried out by the
Department of Fisheries in co-operation with Department of Agriculture.
The pilot fish culture ponds at Sapu in the Central River Division
is part of the continuing effort of the Department to assist farmers
improve their incomes and nutritional status.
Several communities in the area have expressed interest in fish
farming but lack adequate specialized equipment and knowledge
of the technical processes associated with fish farming. Tilapia
and Clarias senegalensis are the fish species to be considered
for future culture in the trial rice fields of the project.
The development and growth of commercial aquaculture holds great
possibilities and is hoped to decrease or hold the country's reliance
on netted fish. This coupled with shrimp and oyster culture has
the potential to be economically and naturally feasible within
the area of the Gambia River's estuarine geography as well as
the fresh water flood plains of the Central River Region for species
such as catfish and Tilapia.
Commercial aquaculture entails culturing of high economic value
species such as shrimps aimed at the export market.
Due to the nutritional and economic potential of the aquaculture
sector the Gambia Government's policy is to develop 3 areas of
the aquaculture i.e. commercial, artisan and subsistence. The
strategy includes the development of community participation,
training farmers in pond construction methods and maintenance,
tidal irrigation methods and access to loans.
Department of Agriculture & Natural Resources
Tel: (220) 4228291 / 4228292
Fax: (220) 4228230