Fish is an important part of the African diet, and in several countries it is the main source of animal protein.
Fish is a source of micronutrients and essential fatty acids which are not found in other types of food. However, supply of fish has difficulties to keep path with population growth. Fisheries and aquaculture are frequently overlooked when preparing policy papers and development plans.
The importance of fish in the diet, especially for the poorer segments of the population, is usually overlooked, as especially food security policies are mainly based on terrestrial foods, such as crops and livestock.
It is important for policies to urgently focus on raising the status of fish in the national and regional food and nutrition security debate.
It is critical for governments and nutrition stakeholders to raise the importance of fish in human nutrition, particularly to consumers through public awareness, consumption promotion, school feeding programmes, TV-cooking classes, etc.
In order for fish to make a meaningful contribution to Africa’s food and nutrition security, there is need to control post-harvest losses which are estimated at 20 to 25% or a total of 2 million tonnes of fish annually.