Title: Aquatic Resources Use and Conservation for Sustainable Freshwater Aquaculture and Fisheries in Mali

Lead US University: Oregon State University

Final Project Report


Project Themes:

  • Advancing Sustainable Freshwater Aquaculture Practices and Technologies ("Pond Culture")
  • Promoting Sustainable Rice-Fish Culture in Irrigated Systems ("Rice-Fish")
  • Building Community and Consensus toward Fisheries Management Plans ("Fisheries Planning")

Project Summary

The fisheries and aquaculture sector is an important element of the national economy of Mali. Annual fish production is estimated to be 100,000 tons, and under normal hydrological conditions, Mali is ranked among the highest freshwater fish producer countries in Africa. Mali alone has over 700,000 fishers, and its annual fish consumption is estimated at 10.5 kg per person for a population estimated at 12.6 million. Over the last ten years, the demand for fish for local consumption has increased tremendously, growing at a rate of over 7% annually due to population increases and exports, especially to other African countries. Therefore, fishing is and will continue to be an important source of income for a large portion of the population.

While approximately 80% of the fish produced in Mali is marketed in urban areas, particularly the capital city, the supply is far from meeting the current demand of the local markets. According to recent assessments, a number of production constraints have contributed to this shortfall:

  • A general decline in capture fisheries production in Mali,
  • Poor technology base, poor adoption, and very little research on species and production, conditions and on post-harvest technologies,
  • Inadequate policies on fisheries management and aquaculture development,
  • Poor infrastructure and high input costs,
  • Poor organization of the stakeholders,
  • Poor water retention of pond soils and water losses in lined or finished earthen ponds,
  • Lack of coordination of different partners supporting the subsector,
  • Poor marketing strategies and linkages, and
  • Low processing technology, storage and post harvest losses management

The goal of the Mali project is to improve the productivity and income of producers in targeted areas of Mali through facilitation of access to technologies and building the capacity of stakeholders involved in freshwater fish farming and capture fisheries management in target areas. The general objectives of the project are to:

  • Facilitate access and adoption of improved aquaculture production technologies to increase and diversify the incomes of farmers
  • Develop the capacity of the GOM to help develop and disseminate relevant technologies
  • Identify appropriate strategies for the implementation of integrated rice-fish farming
  • Help develop an appropriate fisheries management plan to ensure long-term viability and sustainability of capture fisheries
  • Help establish linkages useful for further development of aquaculture and fisheries in Mali

The project addresses these objectives through collaborative work in three major theme areas:

  1. Advancing Sustainable Freshwater Aquaculture Practices and Technologies (Pond Culture)
  2. Promoting Sustainable Rice-Fish Aquaculture in Irrigated Systems (Rice-fish Culture)
  3. Building Community and Consensus towards a Fisheries Management Plan (Fisheries Planning)

Across these three themes, the AquaFish CRSP emphasizes generating and utilizing capacity building opportunities, advancing sustainable solutions to aquaculture and fisheries development, and encouraging public-private sector linkages.

This project is funded by USAID/Mali through an Associate Award to the AquaFish CRSP at Oregon State University (OSU). OSU's primary partner in this collaborative effort is the Direction Nationale de la Pêche (Government of Mali); other collaborators have included Moi University (Eldoret, Kenya), Kenyatta University (Nairobi, Kenya), Shanghai Ocean University (Shanghai, China), and FishAfrica (Nairobi, Kenya).