Fish is an important food source in Egypt and accounts for 25.3 percent of the average household’s protein intake.

Aquaculture is the primary source of fish production in Egypt, which in 2014 recorded production of over 1.1 million metric tons, or around three-quarters of the country’s total fish production. In the same year, fisheries produced 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 most farmed fish species in the country. The majority of the country’s fish production is consumed domestically, providing the equivalent of one fish per person per week.

Since launching our research program in Egypt in 1998, WorldFish has delivered high quality, practical research related to the country’s aquaculture and fishery sector. A key focus has been improving fish genetics to transform Egypt into a role model for African aquaculture development.

We work closely with aquaculture stakeholders, the private sector and government organizations to increase aquaculture productivity, increasing the flow-on benefits of fish farming to women and youth, and enhance 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 percent are women, are assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains
  • 0.10M people, of which 50 percent are women, are without deficiencies of one or more of the following essential micronutrients: iron, zinc, iodine, vitamin A, folate and B12
  • 20 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions and 10 percent increase in water and nutrient use efficiency in 0.30 million tons 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