Khaitov, A.H., Gafurov, A., van Anrooy, R., Hasan, M.R., Bueno, P.B. and Yerli, S.V. 2013.
Fisheries and aquaculture in Tajikistan: review and policy framework.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1030/3. Ankara, FAO. 90 pp.
The fishery sector currently plays a minor role in development of the rural economy of Tajikistan. Its contribution to the country's Gross National Product was in recent years less than 0.1 percent. Despite the availability of extensive water resources (ponds, reservoirs, lakes, rivers and channels), fish production has fallen from 4 000 tonnes in 1991 to 214 tonnes in 2006. As a consequence, fish consumption per capita has decreased to a level less than 0.5kg, compared to 3kg at the end of the 1980s.
Fishery in Tajikistan started with the construction of Farkhadskiy and Kayrakkum reservoirs in the north of the Republic. Aquaculture development received the most attention. In the early 1960s the government carried out a large-scale program of fish farming development. Under this programme aquaculture farms with a total area of about 2 500 hectares (ha) were established. Production technologies included semi-intensive culture and extensive polyculture of carp in earthen ponds. Species cultured were common carp Cyprinus carpio carpio, silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix, bighead carp H. nobilis, and grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella.
Aquaculture provided 70-80 percent of the marketed fish before independence. After independence the reform process of the economy led to a partly privatized fishery sector. The poorly managed privatization process negatively affected the fishery and aquaculture sector. Combined with a general economic crisis, breaking of communications and dramatic decrease in trade with the former Soviet Union states, limited availability of commercial fish feeds and hatchery equipment, limited investment in research, training and education, the privatization process can be considered disastrous for the sector. At present the sector is slowly recovering but the severe winter in 2007/2008 (the coldest in over 25 years) set back the sector's growth. The principal fishery sector governing body is the Ministry of Agriculture (MoA). Scientific research is mainly carried out by the Department of Ichthyology and Hydrobiology of the Institute of Zoology and Parasitology under the Academy of Science, of Tajikistan and the Faculty of Ichthyology and Physiology of farm livestock of the Tajik Agrarian University.
The MoA, recognizing the potential contribution of the capture fisheries and aquaculture sectors to rural poverty alleviation, achievement of food security and generation of alternative employment, has started to support actively the rehabilitation of the sector. Acknowledging that the country cannot develop the sector on its own, the MoA took a leading role in the initiation of regional collaboration, by organizing the first Regional Intergovernmental meeting to initiate the establishment of a Central Asian Fisheries Organization in November 2008.
This FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular has three main aims. First, it is intended to inform those interested in fisheries and aquaculture in Tajikistan about the current situation with regard to fishery resources and their utilization in the country. Second, it attempts to provide background information in support of the national sectoral policy and strategy formulation process. Thirdly, it may serve as guidance for future interventions by the government and donors in support of the sustainable development and management of the sector.