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Sudan aquaculture suffers destruction from war

March 11, 2024  By Bob Atwiine

Exactly one year since a war between the Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) and the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces (RSF) rival factions of the Sudan government begun on April 15, 2023, the country has experienced political and economic shutdown. 

Gas prices are soaring, hunger and famine are biting hardest, and many businesses closed doors or halted operations. It seems no business is unaffected, even aquaculture and feed firms are feeling the effects. 

Total capture fisheries and aquaculture production in Sudan in recent years had increased between 30,000 to 40,000 tonnes per year before the war broke out. The main species which were being produced by aquaculture are Nile tilapia and different species of catfish (Clarias spp.).

 The cultivation of both species had become increasingly technical and intensified.


The biggest fish farming business is done on river Nile, the second longest river in the world with more than 6,600 km, along with a large number of artificial lakes created from the Nile such as Lake Gebel Aulia, the Roseires or Lake Nubia among others.

However, all these gains over decades are in ruins after being ravaged by the intense fighting between the two military factions seeking to rule the oil rich nation. 

Fish farmers are reporting heavy losses of fry and broodstock because fish farms are not accessible due to heavy shelling and the breakdown in the production of the fish meal.  

“Our businesses are no more; my fish farms were destroyed and looted by the fighting groups after war broke out in our area. I had to run away to spare my life and that of my family,” said Al-Nimeiry Mohammad, a fish farmer from Omdurman. 

“Even the remaining fish died because of harsh conditions. We don’t have electricity because it was cut off. No oxygen supplies because rebels control most of parts in the area. Due to the ongoing hostilities, we are in dire financial conditions, my children are hungry because they have no food to eat. We want the war to stop such that we can also have peace and resume work,” Mohammad added.

Several smaller farms have reportedly ceased to exist in Omdurman and other regions. The power outages across the country have hampered the operation of fish meal manufacturers across the country

Mamuru Gobeng, a fisheries expert from South Sudan, noted that a regional fisheries office in Omdurman which has been providing extension services to fish farmers in the area was abandoned by staff, after being attacked and ransacked by the rebels fighting to topple Khartoum regime. 

According to Gobeng, just like other sectors, aquaculture industry in Sudan is currently in ruins because of the effects of the bloody war between the two warring army generals turned fierce enemies.

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