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Ireland Explores Opportunities for Boarfish in Africa

15 July 2014

IRELAND - Ireland has a quota of boarfish of more than 80,000 tonnes for 2014, and Bord Bia is now looking at the African markets to investigate the potential interest this species may have in the regions, reports Claudia Saumell, Madrid Office, Bord Bia – Irish Food Board.

Research in West Africa was carried out, but no great interest was discovered in Nigeria, while Ghana is still being assessed with potential importers being identified. Moving down to more Southern regions, recent visits to the South African market showed that there could well be an opportunity there.

Seafood importers in South Africa use their base as a springboard to reach neighbouring countries from SADC such as Zimbabwe, Zambia and Botswana, which would very much benefit from affordable and nutritious protein like boarfish.

In Tanganika Lake, locals fish for Kapenta (Limnothrissa miodon), a small fish similar to a sardine which is dried in the sun or eaten deep fried as staple food for low income families. According to Globefish, kapenta, dagaa or mukene--mainly from East Africa, Tanzania, Zambia and Mozambique--are distributed widely to the regional markets in Southern Africa, with DRC being the main destination.

The demand for fish in those countries is high, and often the poor domestic industry cannot satisfy those population needs.

Most of the countries depend on fish imports and the expected rise of population will increase the import needs in the coming years. Zimbabwe, for instance, sources its fish supplies from Lake Kariba, but fish demand exceeds supply: a country with almost 14 million inhabitants has extremely low fish consumption per capita of 1.1 kg compared to the average 6.7kg per capita of the SADC region.


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