Cameroon is said to have been witnessing an increase in its annual production of fish for consumption for the past years now. This was made known by the Minister of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries Dr. Taiga. According to the minister, the country witnessed a steady production of fish between 2011 and 2016.
Fish production in Cameroon, according to figures released by the ministry of research two hundred and eighty-five thousand tons in 2016, increasing from two hundred and five thousand tons in 2011. This increase, which is being attributed to the development of aquaculture is, however, being threatened. Authorities say, the influence of foreign fishermen in this sector, a lot of whom often export large quantities of their product. Illicit fishing off Cameroon’s coast, experts say, also poses a threat to the sector, as it undermines the efforts and production of the country’s fishermen. Despite the efforts being put in place to achieve better yields from fishermen all over the national territory, some say there is the need to update the inventory of all types of canoes, number of fishermen, fishing gears and landing sites along the entire coast of Cameroon. This, they say, will not only help boost production, but will also ensure the safety and accountability of all involve in the trade. According to the Food and Agricultural Organization, FAO, a majority of Cameroon’s marine catch is supplied by approximately eighteen thousand four hundred artisanal fishers fishing along the entire coast with most of them using traditional gears such as bottom set and drift nets. In 2015, it was estimated that more than 2500 people were directly employed in offshore fisheries.
To ensure the trade, Cameroon often deploys its navy to fishing areas with the aim of ensuring that unlicensed and sometimes foreign boats and fishermen don’t fish in its territory. The fishermen’s equipment too are often inspected, to prevent them from trapping smaller fish, thus ensuring continuity of the species. Some divisions like the Wouri, Ndian, Ocean and the Sanaga Maritime are some of the nation’s fishing hotspots. The government through the ACEFER project which aim at encouraging fish production of recent granted lions to fish farmers in the country. All this is intended to increase fish production. Also, fish farmers and others involve in aquaculture have been trained on the new techniques of fish farming thanks to the coordinated of the Cameroon ministry of livestock fisheries and animal industries. Aquaculture which many people had less interest in the past has today employed more than ten thousand youths. Fish farming is expected to be one of the main sector to greatly contribute to the economic development of the nation Cameroon.