Cage aquaculture of tilapia in Zambia

Photos’ credit: Alick Grunnie Mbewe (Zambia)

Review: Alick Grunnie Mbewe  and Abdel Rahman El Gamal (Founder of the website)

Tilapia cage culture in Zambia (02) Tilapia cage culture in Zambia (01)





The inserted photos show Cage fish farming in Lumwana Dam in Solwezi District. This consists of 12 cages measuring 12 m X8 m X2 m deep.

The promotion of tilapia cage aquaculture has been based on the good number of vast lakes and rivers in Zambia. So far, cages have been established on Lake Kariba that has been found optimum for cage culture. There are several cage farms in Zambia operating on Lake Kariba in the Siavonga area that were established in the 1990s.

Most cages are square of around 40 m3, with wooden walkways. The production nets are nylon and are made either in Zimbabwe or imported.

Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) which is not indigenous to Zambia and has been introduced in the 1980s is the only species cultured in cages in Zambia. Most cage farms produce their own fry in pond facilities before juveniles are transferred to the cages where they grow to market size of around 350 g. A production of around 20 kg/m3 is a realistic estimate. The cold season (June through August) retards tilapia growth during the mentioned period.

Even though, a reasonably good quality locally manufactured extruded feed is available in Zambia but because of its high price, not all cage farmers use it and look for less expensive feed.

In regard to environmental concerns, an Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) is required before licensing the operation of cage farms.


Reference:  FAO, A review of cage aquaculture: sub-Saharan Africa. 2007



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