AGRICULTURAL NEWS - The river catchments of Southern Africa are usually considered to include the Cunene River and Okavango systems and all those south of them, as well as the Zambezi, Kafue, Luangwa and Shire rivers in the central/eastern region.
Within this area are found no fewer than 245 indigenous freshwater fish species. Why are so few of these used in aquaculture?
It is a sad fact that most of Southern Africa’s staple crops and livestock breeds come from somewhere else. Maize originates from what is now Mexico; wheat comes from the Middle East; and sorghum (Sorghum bicolor) comes from north-east Africa.
With the exception of the Nguni and Ankole cattle breeds, domesticated livestock in the region have been bred or developed from imported stock.
Freshwater fish that feature prominently in local aquaculture are trout (North America) and Nile tilapia (North and West Africa), with only the marginally successful sharptooth catfish (Clarias gariepinus) being a local species.