Ranked among the largest consumers of fish on the African continent, Gabon, despite having many rivers and several hundred kilometers of coastline, gets most of the fish it consumes from other countries, about 26,000 tons per year. The government and the FAO want to change the situation.
With 885 km of coastline, many rivers and bodies of water, Gabon is still unable to satisfy its own demand in terms of fish consumption. Yet, according to Lionel Kinadjian, expert in charge of fisheries and aquaculture at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), the country is behind Seychelles the second largest consumer in Africa. In Gabon, about 35 kg of fish per person per year are reportedly consumed. As for production, it has still not started: « We are at a production level of 45 tonnes per year. This is very low compared to the production of inland sea fishing, whose catch level is around 10,000 to 20,000 tons per year », deplores the expert according to which demand remains almost entirely covered by imports. Imports estimated at around 26,000 tons per year.
At the FAO regional office, solutions have already been found to increase production at the local level. Peri-urban aquaculture is one of the main strategies that the UN agency and the government intend to test. Last August, as part of the initiatives to contribute to food and nutrition security and poverty alleviation in Gabon, the coordinator of the FAO subregional office, Hélder Muteia, and the Gabonese Minister of Agriculture, Livestock, Fisheries and Food, Biendi Maganga Moussavou, signed a technical cooperation project on « Support for the development of intensive commercial aquaculture in the peri-urban area of Gabon ».
Lionel Kinadjian is convinced of the success of this project because, in his opinion, Gabon has several assets for the successful development of aquaculture in peri-urban areas.