Inland Fisheries

The value of African fisheries

Overview of inland fisheries

The “The value of African fisheries” study was carried out in the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)-FAO Fisheries Programme (NFFP) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The aim was to estimate the contribution to national and agriculture Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) and the employment generated by the whole fisheries sector, defined as including inland and marine capture fisheries, post-harvest, licensing of local fleets, and aquaculture. Information was provided by 42 experts from the 23 countries (more than 40 percent of all African States) collaborating in the study. To obtain indicative figures for the entire continent, data from the sampled countries were analysed and calibrated to extrapolate values for the non-sampled countries, which were classified into separate groups for marine fisheries, inland fisheries and aquaculture according to their geographical location or productivity. The value added by the fisheries sector as a whole in 2011 was estimated at more than US$24 billion, 1.26 percent of the GDP of all African countries. Detailed figures by subsector highlight the relevance of marine artisanal fisheries and related processing, and also of inland fisheries, which contribute onethird of the total catches in African countries. Aquaculture is still developing in Africa and is mostly concentrated in a few countries but it already produces an estimated value of almost US$3 billion per year. As data on licence fees paid by foreign fleets were not easily available to the national experts participating in this study, an attempt was also made to estimate the value of fisheries agreements with Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFNs) fishing in the exclusive economic zones of African States. Considering that 25 percent of all marine catches around Africa are still by non-African countries, if also these catches were caught by African States in theory they could generate an additional value of US$3.3 billion, which is eight times higher than the current US$0.4 billion African countries earn from fisheries agreements. According to the new estimates produced by the study, the fisheries sector as a whole employs 12.3 million people as full-time fishers or full-time and part-time processors, representing 2.1 percent of Africa’s population of between 15 and 64 years old. Fishers represent half of all people engaged in the sector, 42.4 percent are processors and 7.5 percent work in aquaculture. About 27.3 percent of the people engaged in fisheries and aquaculture are women, with marked differences in their share among fishers (3.6 percent), processors (58 percent), and aquaculture workers (4 percent).