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Fish Harvesting, Farming and Marketing


  1. Product Description: If available and affordable, fish diet is a major source of protein which is essential for the development and growth of bones and the brain. Fish harvesting is the collection of mature fish from lakes and rivers and distributing the catch to consumers. Fish farming is growing or breeding fish in man-made ponds and marketing the harvest to consumers. This project idea is for harvesting fish in and around Lake Tana and for growing fish in ponds near the Lake and marketing the harvest from both sources for consumers in major urban areas.


  1. Rationale: The Amhara Region has the largest water bodies in the country and large quantities of fish are harvested every year from the lakes and rivers of the Region. Potential annual fish harvest from Lake Tana is estimated at 15000 tons, but actual harvest in 2002 was 1,450 tons. Up to now the harvesting of fish from lakes and rivers is done by traditional and sometime very destructive method of fishing which results in low production and whole sale destruction of young fish not ready for harvesting. In addition, fishing is done on natural lakes and streams. The method of harvesting fish from man made ponds which is common in many south East Asian countries is practically unknown in Ethiopia including the Amhara Region. If farmers and potential entrepreneurs are made aware about the possibility and benefits of fish farming using man-made ponds, the production of fish would have increased substantially there by increasing the supply of animal protein to the population. This project idea is to undertake moden fish harvesting in Lake Tana and to prepare ponds to grow fish for commercial purposes.

                                                                                               Projected Demand for Fish in Amhara Region


Quantity (in ton)





















  1. Market Potential: Considering the popularity of fish especially during fasting months and days, the market for fish in the Region is more that current fish harvest. In the context of the Ethiopian economy, demand for any food type is not a problem. It is the supply that has been the problem.


  1. Process and Technology: Fish harvesting on Lake Tana will be done using modern technology and in such a way that only fish of certain sizes will be caught leaving small and young fish to breed and to get matured. In this way the fish population of the Lake will be replenished through breeding which will ensure continuous supply of marketable fish. Harvesting of fish from man made ponds will be done by employing the latest technology and practice in the field. In addition to the immediate benefits, growing fish in man-made ponds will have demonstration effects. These effects will initiate other people (farmers and entrepreneurs) to start breeding fish by preparing man-made ponds in many localities. For harvesting fish and for preparing the harvest for marketing, the following physical assets will be required. Motor boat, freezer unit, condensing unit, evaporator, compressor deep freeze, ovum meter, fish cutter, plastic packing, floor balance, table balance and other tools.


  1. Estimated Investment: For an enterprise that will harvest and market an average of 250,000 kgs. of fish, total investment will be

   Preparation of Ponds …..       Birr   300,000

   Machinery and Equipment      Birr   700,000

   Working capital…………….  Birr   300,000

Total ……….  Birr 1,300,000


  1. Benefits: sustainable utilization of our fisherys resources, increase in food production, introduction of new method of producing food,


  1. Location: Bahir Dar