Swimming with Algeria's Fish and Shrimps

Swimming with Algeria's Fish and Shrimps

Swimming with Algeria's Fish and Shrimps

By / Sustainability / Saturday, 21 July 2018 03:40

I was surprised to learn that Algeria is the last country in the world where Lead Petrol can still be sold. All other countries in the world have banned Lead Petrol because of the harmful effect it has on children’s brains. But away from this tragic Lead scenario great things are happening in Algeria. Algeria’s desert to be specific.

A desert can be a very hostile place. I experienced this firsthand a few years ago in the remotest parts of Kenya’s northwestern Turkana region which is mostly arid. I had travelled there to lead a cultural exchange and community empowerment project. All around me as far as the eye could see, was sand, rocks and more sand. How can people live here? I had asked our host Nakuleu, a tall man well over six feet tall.

How can fish live here? Most people who visit fish ponds in Southern Algeria’s localities like Ouargla normally ask themselves. They find plenty of fish swimming merrily in fish ponds that are surrounded by searing hot desert sand. Although eighty percent of Algeria is covered by Sahara Desert, this desert barrier can no longer stop fish from swimming and landing into marketplaces.

These fish ponds have been blossoming since 2008 when the Algerian government supported their establishment. The Government is now very keen on ensuring that through desert aquaculture, annual fish production doubles by 2022 to 200,000 metric tonnes.

In 2016, Algeria harvested its first ever desert shrimps further proving that the desert was more than sand and camels. It could also be a place teeming with fish and shrimp that could earn millions for local fish farmers.

Algeria’s desert aquaculture is particularly vital given the fact that although the country is blessed with 800 miles of a Mediterranean coastline, fish production from the sea is dwindling. Considering that Algeria’s population is expected to hit the fifty-million mark by 2030, food demand will undoubtedly increase.  

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DJ Bwakali

DJ Bwakali

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