Success Story - Invertebrates are a Boon to Aquaculture in Tanzania
Aquaculture in Tanzania has mostly been relegated to rural areas, where fish are grown in
small ponds as a secondary activity for farmers wanting to supplement their income and
diet. This type of small-scale aquaculture is often not economically sustainable due to a
number of factors, including high production costs. Perhaps the most significant barrier
to growth of the aquaculture industry in Tanzania is the high cost and relative scarcity of
quality fish feed. There is competition between agriculture sectors for protein sources, such
as fishmeal, that are necessary to produce quality feed. Consequently, high-quality fish feed
is often hard to find and expensive when available.
Recognizing the bottleneck created for the growth of Tanzanian aquaculture by this widespread lack of quality feed, AquaFish Innovation Lab researchers at Sokoine University of Agriculture (SUA) in Morogoro, Tanzania, investigated the potential of invertebrates as an affordable alternative protein source for fish feeds. Specifically, two common invertebrates were studied — housefly larvae and earthworms — both of which are good candidates because of their relatively short life-cycles and high fecundity.