Fisheries have long been an important part of the economy and cultural heritage in Zambia. It may be landlocked, but 20 percent of its land is covered by water. In total, about 45 percent of the water resources in southern Africa are found in Zambia, which plays a key role in fish trade in the region.

Zambia’s total fish production is just over 100,000 metric tons, of which about 85,000 metric tons comes from fisheries. The aquaculture sector, which is still in its infancy, contributes around 30,000 metric tons (27 percent of total fish production).

Fish consumption is low at 5.9 kg/person/year. The major cause of this low consumption is the lack of production, hence the need for increased efforts to farm fish. The fisheries sub-sector supports around 1,000,000 people in Zambia, with around 72,000 people working as fishers.

We are testing technologies that improve the productivity of fisheries and aquaculture and strengthen value chains to increase incomes of fish-dependent people in Zambia and throughout sub-Saharan Africa.

Current Priorities / Initiatives

  • Increasing production/productivity of improved indigenous tilapia (Orechromis macrochir and O. tanganicae)
  • Increasing fish consumption for improved nutrition
  • Integrating and enhancing the role of fish in domestic and regional trade
  • Reducing post-harvest fish losses

Anticipated Impacts (by 2022)

0.12M producer households adopt improved breeds, aquafeeds, fish health and aquaculture and fisheries management practices

0.09M people, of which at least 50 percent are women, are assisted to exit poverty through livelihood improvements related to fisheries and aquaculture value chains

0.04M 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 0.05 million tons of fish per annum

0.07M more women of reproductive age are consuming an adequate number of food groups

0.26M hectares of ecosystems restored through more productive and equitable management of small-scale fisheries resources and restoration of degraded aquaculture ponds