Fish is an important food source in Egypt, accounting for 25.3% of the average household’s protein intake. Fish consumption is 23.5 kg/person/year.

Aquaculture is the primary source of fish production in Egypt. In 2014, aquaculture production was over 1.1 million metric tons, accounting for around three-quarters of the country’s total fish production. In the same year, fisheries production was 344,791 metric tons. The sector provides employment for 816,000 people (150,000 in the aquaculture value chain and 666,000 in fisheries).

Tilapia is the species most farmed in the country, which has 115,000 hectares of aquaculture ponds. The majority of the country’s fish production is consumed in the country, providing the equivalent of one fish per person per week. In 2014, just 28,000 metric tons of fish was exported.

WorldFish in Egypt

Since launching its research program in Egypt in 1998, WorldFish has delivered high quality, practical research related to the country’s aquaculture and fishery sector. A key research focus has been on improving fish genetics to transform Egypt into a role model for African aquaculture development. WorldFish works closely with aquaculture stakeholders, the private sector and government organizations to deliver research on increasing aquaculture productivity, increasing the flow-on benefits of fish farming to women and youth, and enhancing fish value chains.

Current Priorities / Initiatives

  • Genetic improvement: Further development and dissemination of the Abbassa strain of Nile tilapia and adding resilience to the breeding program
  • Feed research: Novel feed ingredients and improved feed efficiency and feeding systems (including best management practice training)
  • Fish health: Investigating new disease issues affecting Egyptian fish farms
  • Improving fish markets through group-based organization of informal retailers, product development and improved post-harvest handling
  • Manage Africa Aquaculture Research and Training Center as a regional center of excellence for genetics research and training in best management practices

Anticipated Impacts (by 2022)

  • 0.10M producer households adopt improved breeds, aquafeeds, fish health and aquaculture and fisheries management practices
  • 0.26M people, of which at least 50% are women, are assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains
  • 0.10M people, of which 50% are women, are without deficiencies of one or more of the following essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, folate and B12
  • 20% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 10% increase in water and nutrient use efficiency in 0.30M tonnes of fish per annum
  • 0.34M more women of reproductive age are consuming an adequate number of food groups
  • 0.11M hectares of ecosystems restored through more productive and equitable management of small-scale fisheries resources and restoration of degraded aquaculture ponds

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