Aquaculture occupies an important place in Madagascar. It is considered to be one of the key sectors for the country because of the contribution it makes to foreign exchange revenues thanks to exports of farmed shrimps/prawns and seaweed and the part played by improving the incomes of smallholder fish farmers, the contribution to making fish available on local markets and the employment generated. Aquaculture is practised in freshwater, brackish water, and marine water:
Historically speaking, freshwater aquaculture has developed over the past fifty years in four clearly distinct phases:
While inland aquaculture is local market-oriented, marine aquaculture is designed for the export market as a means of earning foreign exchange.
In 2003, inland aquaculture was practised by 21 000 rice-fish culture farmers, 45 000 fish farmers and 219 fingerling producers. Cage culture was practised by 42 associations, providing direct employment for 110 people, while four tilapia hatcheries employed 45 people.
For marine aquaculture, the six shrimp breeding companies created 4 325 full-time jobs, 4 267 of which were for local people and 58 for expatriates (Anon. 2005b). These 4 325 full-time jobs were distributed as follows: 90 mariners, 1 072 in the processing plant, 400 in administration, 267 in hatcheries, 2 114 in farms, and 382 in other areas. This kind of shrimp farming also created 30 000 indirect jobs. Seaweed culture was being practised by 126 farmers.
Aquaculture also employs 50 researchers and 40 administrative staff.
In 2003, inland aquaculture was practised on 15 km2 of the irrigated paddy fields and 4 km2 of ponds with efficient water management (Anon, 2005a), accounting for only a very small part of the potential (1 600 km2 of water bodies and 340 km2 of paddy fields, according to Kiener, 1963, and 20 km2 of areas with efficient water management according to Anon, 2005a).
It is estimated that, at the present time, a total area of 11 938 ha could be developed to produce 54 416 tonnes of shrimps. Only 41.7 per cent of this potential, namely, 4 982 ha, is currently being exploited (Anon, 2001).
The main freshwater species being farmed is the common carp (Cyprinus carpio), which was introduced in 1959. Goldfish (Carassius auratus) introduced in 1861 is also bred, but on a much smaller scale. Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) introduced in 1956 is becoming increasingly more common in ponds and in cages. Marine aquaculture is based mainly on the giant tiger prawn (Penaeus monodon), which is fished locally. Introduced in 1998, tropical marine seaweed (Eucheuma striatum) Zanzibar strain, is currently being farmed in the coastal zones.
Even though national aquaculture statistics are always difficult to acquire, particularly with regard to inland aquaculture, production may be estimated as follows:
There has been a sharp increase in marine aquaculture production.
The graph below shows total aquaculture production in Madagascar according to FAO statistics:
Only the production surpluses of (rice-fish) aquaculture, which is generally practised in the rural world, are sold on the local market, in the form of live or very fresh fish.
Most of the fish reared in cages is sold at Antananarivo, mainly in supermarkets and to restaurants.
Most of the marine aquaculture production is exported, particularly shrimps and dried seaweed. For this purpose, the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries issues licences to the authorised companies, through the veterinary service. This licence may be withdrawn or suspended for non-compliance with health and hygiene rules and standards.
These products are mainly exported to Europe. Most of the shrimps and prawns (70 percent are exported (whole, headed and peeled) to Europe (France, Spain and Italy). Small quantities are exported to the United States, and 30 percent to Japan. Each company has its own distribution network in Europe, serving large and medium-sized supermarkets where the product is labelled “Madagascar farmed shrimps” without mentioning the name of the company producing them.
In 2004, freshwater aquaculture produced around 2 550 tonnes of fish, equivalent to about 2.8 percent of national consumption for a total value of 4.2 million US dollars. That same year, some 7 million farmed shrimps and prawns were exported for a value estimated at 62 million US dollars.
In 2003, freshwater aquaculture created 4 325 full-time jobs (4 267 local and 58 expatriates) and 30 000 part-time jobs.
It contributed 0.52 per cent to GDP in 2001 and 0.69 percent in 2002. Its contribution to national income was 0.24 percent in 2001 and 0.59 percent in 2002.
Aquaculture management and development is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, Livestock and Fisheries (MAEP) through all the Fisheries and Fish Resources Directorate (DPRH).
Its main responsibilities in the fisheries/aquaculture sector are:
Several legal instruments and regulations have been drawn up for aquaculture management, especially marine aquaculture, in the form of acts of parliament, ordinances and decrees.
The following table gives a list of the texts currently in force.
Aquaculture regulations have not yet been developed as much as Fisheries regulations. Many are still waiting to be drafted. Provisions governing environmental protection have been adopted by decree. No fish farm may begin operations without an environmental and/or establishment permit, delivered after an environmental impact study has been performed under a Project Environmental Management Plan.
The following three institutions have been identified for conducting aquaculture research, two of which are nationwide:
These are all applied research activities relating directly to aquaculture. At the present time, it is the training establishments (particularly the state-owned institutions) which lay down the research themes jointly with the private sector. On the basis of agreements concluded between them, research is subsequently conducted by in-house trainees who use their work for their final dissertations. Every aquaculture company may also conduct their own research, whose results remain more or less confidential.
Several governmental and private institutions provide aquaculture training. In these establishments the courses are essentially general and theoretical. They are followed by practical in-house training in aquaculture companies depending upon the subject of the final dissertation.
These aquaculture training institutions are:
The last decade has seen the rapid development of industrial prawn farming. During this period, production has risen from 406 tonnes (in 1994) to 7 007 tonnes (in 2003). Within three years, industrial prawn production is expected to overtake industrial prawn fisheries production and dominate the exports of these products. This type of aquaculture has also a noteworthy legal framework and monitoring system. Measures have been adopted to oblige the operators to carry out an environmental impact study and to draft and publish a development plan. A code of conduct and an Act on the responsible and sustainable development of the industry have also been implemented.
The country possesses good development potential for inland aquaculture, particularly fish farming. The soundness of privatising fingerling production and the commitment of these small fish farmers to aquaculture extension work has been demonstrated. Nevertheless, despite the increasing quantities of fingerlings produced, aquaculture production is not rising. The older development strategy which only focused on attaining food self-sufficiency, without making it possible to generate marketable surpluses, is now being challenged. A new inland aquaculture development policy has been put in place to encourage market-oriented commercial aquaculture. Encouragement is being given to putting in place professional agriculturalists and, for example, the establishment of four tilapia hatcheries in the Analamanga region, two of which will be to produce mono-sex male tilapia fingerlings. Household-type fish farming is slowly giving way to commercial farming.
Moreover, there is still considerable potential for raising shrimps and prawns and inland aquaculture:
FAO. 2005. Aquaculture production, 2004. Year book of Fishery Statistics - Vol.96/2. Food and Agriculture organization of the United Nations, Rome, Italy.
Anonyme. 2001. Etude du schéma d'aménagement de l'aquaculture de crevettes de mer à Madagascar. Antananarivo, MPRH/DA/UE/Consortium OSIPD/FTM/PHD .
Anonyme. 2004a. Pêche et aquaculture à Madagascar: Plan Directeur 2004-2007, MAEP/FAO, Antananarivo.
Anonyme. 2004b. Etude de compétitivité de l'aquaculture de crevettes de Madagascar. Observatoire économique de la filière crevettière à Madagascar. Rapport final. 139 pp.
Anonyme. 2005a. Rapport d'activité annuel 2003 et 2004. Antananarivo, Direction de la pêche et des ressources halieutiques .
Anonyme. 2005b. Document de synthèse des données économiques de la filière crevettière. Observatoire Economique de la filière crevettière à Madagascar.
Anonyme. 2005c. Rapport de synthèse des travaux du projet FAO-TCP/MAG/2901 «Formulation d'une stratégie pour la valorisation des acquis du sous secteur de l'aquaculture» (draft).
Kiener, A. 1963. Poisson, pêche et pisciculture à Madagascar. Nogent sur Marne, France, Centre technique forestier tropical, 160 pages.
Rabelahatra, A. 1988. Etudes nationales pour le développement de l'aquaculture en Afrique, 22. Madagascar. FAO Circ.pêches, (770.22): 82p.
Annexe - Liste des acronymes malgaches
APAM: Association Professionnelle des Aquaculteurs de Madagascar
CDCC: Centre pour le Développement de la Culture des Crevettes
DPRH: Direction de la Pêche et des Ressources Halieutiques
DGDR: Direction Régionale du Développement des Régions
DSAPS: Direction de la Santé Animale et Phytosanitaire
FOFIFA: Foibe Fikaroana ho an'ny Fambolena
GAPCM: Groupement des Aquaculteurs et Pêcheurs de Crevettes de Madagascar
IHSM: Institut Halieutique et des Sciences Marine
MAEP: Ministère de l'Agriculture, de l'Elevage et de la Pêche
MEFB: Ministère de l'Economie, des Finances et du Budget
MINENVEF: Ministère de l'Environnement et des Eaux et Forets
MINSAN: Ministère de la Santé
MINTOUR: Ministère du Tourisme
MPE: Maison du Petit Elevage
ONE: Office National de l'Environnement
PFOI: Pêche et Froid de l'Océan Indien
SAACM: Schéma d'Aménagement pour l'Aquaculture de Crevettes de Madagascar
SRPRH: Service Régional de la Pêche et des Ressources Halieutiques