Despite the recent political unrest that has affected much of the country, Egyptian aquaculture is a great success story. Production reached almost one million tons in 2011, representing an average consumption of about one fish per person per week.
A recent report for the project “Improving Employment and Income through the Development of Egypt’s Aquaculture Sector“ (IEIDEAS), implemented by WorldFish and CARE and funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), recommended additional measures needed to promote further growth in the sector. These measures include:
- Updated legislation to reflect the valid allocation of land and water resources to aquaculture.
- Streamlined registration and approval procedures.
- Improved licensing procedures.
- Improved distribution systems and handling to allow freshwater aquaculture products (in particular tilapia) to reach new markets, including exports.
The report further suggests that additional safeguards may be needed in the sector. Egypt is currently not able to export aquaculture products to the EU, not because of high contaminant levels. Additionally, Egypt does not possess a coherent animal health control system for aquaculture, exposing the sector to potential disease risks.