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The broad term 'aquaculture' refers to the breeding, rearing, and harvesting of animals and plants in all types of water environments including ponds, rivers, lakes, and the ocean.  Fish farming is used for the production of seafood for human consumption; enhancement of wild fish, shellfish, and plant stocks for harvest; restoring threatened and endangered aquatic species; rebuilding ecologically-important shellfish habitat; producing nutritional and industrial compounds; and providing fish for aquariums.

Fish and seafood are sources of animal protein and other nutrients that people consider to be an essential part of a healthy diet, and therefore, enjoy regularly. Unfortunately, its popularity is also its demise. Fish from our natural resources are being over fished to the extent that extinction is a realistic concern! Aquaculture, which takes pressure off of wild fish, is being considered to help alleviate this issue.

Aquaculture can be an easy solution to address the global demands for fish protein and nutrition considering the fact that there is going to be an increase in population in the next few years, and by 2050, we expect the world population to rise by 3 billion people. By the end of this decade, aquaculture could become a key food producing sector in the world.

Recently, the World Fish Center reported that the wild fish stock around the world is being depleted constantly from modern commercial fishing techniques. Aquaculture, could become a major tool for meeting global fish demands. As the world population increases at a rapid rate and wild fish populations decrease, it is inevitable that the demands for fish farming will increase in the future. Aquaculture can also help regenerate the wild seafood stock by providing a consistent supply of seafood all year round.

It is possible to keep the ecosystem and biodiversity intact in an aquaculture farm by following sustainable methods of fish farming. Some fish farms tend to overpopulate the ponds, which increases the amount of organic waste released into the water causing growth of some harmful algae. Furthermore, if no GMO food or cross genetic techniques are used, it is possible to keep the ecosystem at its natural state and still make a good profit through sustainable methods of fish farming.

One of the benefits of aquaculture is that it requires less land, water and other resources as compared to other forms of livestock farming. Another major benefit is that fish are cold blooded hence require little to no attention in the winter. They need no additional energy to cope with the weather, therefore, there is more output from little input.

Fish farming is one of the most rapidly growing sectors of agriculture in the US today that has very little environmental impacts. The extent to which the environment is impacted depends on how the fish farm operates and the methods used. If farmed fish are kept away from the general wild fish population, the environmental impacts and ecological effects are reduced. Farms with overpopulated fish may increase the chances of fish spreading infection or disease.

In Kenya, aquaculture is still at its infancy stage.


1.2 Statement of the problem

Fish yield from natural resources in Kenya has been on a decline due to overfishing, introduction of invasive species, pollution of water bodies and change in the climatic conditions among other factors. Fishermen, researchers and government officials alike are embracing aquaculture as a way to boost production and profits of fish supplies. However, cage fish farming has caused problems elsewhere in the world, in part due to the use of chemicals and the release of waste products such as dead fish, uneaten food and feces into the ecosystem.

For the past ten years Kenya and Uganda have been engaged in a fierce tussle over the island of Migingo in Lake Victoria. Migingo is surrounded by rich underwater biodiversity and thus attract a lot of fish making it one of the last lucrative hunting grounds on the lake for fishermen from the two countries.

1.3 Justification of the problem

Lake Victoria, the second largest fresh water body in the world yields more than 800,000 metric tons of fish each year that support the livelihood of nearly 2 million people. But the lake fish stock are declining amid growing demand, and so fishermen, researchers and government authorities are enthusiastically turning to aquaculture to address the problem, particularly in the Kenyan side.

Pressure on the lake fish include overfishing and the use of illegal fishing gear, invasion of the alien water hyacinth (Eichherina Crassipes), industrial and municipal pollution, changing in climatic conditions and introduction of carnivorous Nile Perch (Lates Niloticus) which preys on the numerous fish species and has driven many nearly extinct.

This paper focuses on the potential of cur''rent aquaculture production systems in he country and reveals opportunities for improvement. The current aquaculture species and inputs (feed and seed fish) in the Kenyan aquaculture sector are also discussed.

1.4 Aim of this study

The aim of this study is to contribute towards the goals of ensuring food security and eradicating poverty among Kenyan households by creating a source of livelihood for the rapidly growing population.

1.5 Objectives of the study

1.5.1 General objective

' To explore the current status, potentials, challenges and future opportunities for the Kenyan aquaculture sector.

1.5.2 Specific objectives

' To find out the opportunities for improvement on aquaculture production systems.

' To determine aquaculture practices carried out by various farmers within the country.

' To assess the knowledge and attitudes on aquaculture among farmers.

' To find out the economic progress aquaculture and of the farmers carrying out the practice.

1.6 Assumptions

The political environment will be conducive for me to conduct this study.

Institutions and persons involved will be willing to participate in the study

Data collected will be true and reliable.

1.7 Limitations of the study

Small sample size will be used due to time and budget limitations.

Language barrier may also be of hindrance to the study in some locations.

The participants in my study may not be truthful about their personal attitudes and practices on aquaculture.

1.8 Benefits of the study

The results of my study will be useful to the government of Kenya and other institutions that deal with the promotion of aquaculture to help in the gain of more knowledge of the spread of the practice and enable its further development.

The findings can also be used in the development and provision of aquaculture information to facilitate the economic growth of farmers carrying out aquaculture.




2.1 Introduction

This chapter presents a review of related empirical and theoretical literature according to the following subheadings in relation to the study objective: Trends of aquaculture in Kenya, examine the influence of aquaculture in the world and asses its influence in the today world.

2.2 History of Aquaculture  

Aquaculture was operating in China circa 2500 BC. When the waters subsided after river floods, some fish, mainly carp, were trapped in lakes. Early fish farmers fed their brood using nymphs and silkworm feces, and ate them. A fortunate genetic mutation of carp led to the emergence of goldfish during the Tang dynasty.

The Japanese cultivated seaweed by providing bamboo poles and, later, nets and oyster shells to serve as anchoring surfaces for spores.

Romans also bred fish in ponds and farmed oysters in coastal lagoons before 100 CE.  

In central Europe, early Christian monasteries adopted Roman aquaculture practices. Aquaculture spread in Europe during the Middle Ages since, away from the seacoasts and the big rivers, fish had to be salted in order to preserve them. The 15th-century fishponds of the Trebon Basin in the Czech Republic are maintained as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Hawaiians constructed oceanic fish ponds. A remarkable example is a fish pond dating from at least 1,000 years ago, at Alekoko. Legend says that it was constructed by the mythical Menehune dwarf people.  

In the first half of 18th century, German Stephan Ludwig Jacobi experimented with external fertilization of brown trout and salmon. He wrote an article "Von der k''nstlichen Erzeugung der Forellen und Lachse". By the latter decades of the 18th century, oyster farming had begun in estuaries along the Atlantic Coast of North America.  

The word aquaculture appeared in an 1855 newspaper article in reference to the harvesting of ice. It also appeared in descriptions of the terrestrial agricultural practice of sub irrigation in the late 19th century before becoming associated primarily with the cultivation of aquatic plant and animal species.

In 1859, Stephen Ainsworth of West Bloomfield, New York, began experiments with brook trout. By 1864, Seth Green had established a commercial fish-hatching operation at Caledonia Springs, near Rochester, New York. By 1866, with the involvement of Dr. W. W. Fletcher of Concord, Massachusetts, artificial fish hatcheries were under way in both Canada and the United States. When the Dildo Island fish hatchery opened in Newfoundland in 1889, it was the largest and most advanced in the world. The word aquaculture was used in descriptions of the hatcheries experiments with cod and lobster in 1890.  

By the 1920s, the American Fish Culture Company of Carolina, Rhode Island, founded in the 1870s was one of the leading producers of trout. During the 1940s, they had perfected the method of manipulating the day and night cycle of fish so that they could be artificially spawned year around.  

Californians harvested wild kelp and attempted to manage supply around 1900, later labeling it a wartime resource.

2.3 21st-century practice

Harvest stagnation in wild fisheries and overexploitation of popular marine species, combined with a growing demand for high-quality protein, encouraged aqua culturists to domesticate other marine species. At the outset of modern aquaculture, many were optimistic that a "Blue Revolution" could take place in aquaculture, just as the Green Revolution of the 20th century had revolutionized agriculture. Although land animals had long been domesticated, most seafood species were still caught from the wild. Concerned about the impact of growing demand for seafood on the world's oceans, prominent ocean explorer Jacques Cousteau wrote in 1973 "With earth's burgeoning human populations to feed, we must turn to the sea with new understanding and new technology.'

The decline in wild fish stocks has increased the demand for farmed fish. However, finding alternative sources of protein and oil for fish feed is necessary so the aquaculture industry can grow sustainably; otherwise, it represents a huge risk for the over-exploitation of fish.  

Species groups

Aquatic plants

Microalgae also referred to as phytoplankton, microphytes, or planktonic algae, constitute the majority of cultivated algae. It is commonly known as seaweed and have many commercial and industrial uses, but due to their size and specific requirements, they are not easily cultivated on a large scale and are most often taken in the wild.


Farming of fish is the most common form of aquaculture. It involves raising of fish commercially in tanks, fish ponds or ocean enclosures, usually for food. The most used species used in fish farming are carp, salmon, tilapia, and catfish.


Commercial shrimp farming began in the 1970s, and production followed thereafter. About 75% of farmed shrimp is produced in Asia, particularly in China and Thailand. The other 25% is produced mainly in Latin America, Brazil being the largest producer. Thailand is the largest exporter.


Farmed shellfish include various oyster, mussel, and clam species. These species rely on primary production rather than inputs of fish or other feed.

Other groups

Other groups include aquatic reptiles, amphibians, and miscellaneous invertebrates, such as echinoderms and jellyfish.

A United Nations report titled The State of the World Fisheries and Aquaculture released in May 2014 maintained fisheries and aquaculture support the livelihoods of some 60 million people in Asia and Africa

Global aquaculture production in million tonnes, as reported by the FAO   

2.4 National laws, regulations, and management

Laws governing aquaculture practices vary greatly from country to country and are often not closely regulated or easily traceable. The contribution of fish farming to local incomes, nutrition and subsistence is very significant as it is majorly popular in areas where poverty levels are high. As a result the government of Kenya has focused on the policy of sustainable development through the use of natural resources. For this reason, the ministry of fisheries was made independent in 2008 from the previous ministry of livestock and fisheries development.

2.5 Aquaculture methods

Fresh water culture

This involves the cultivation of fresh water plants and fish (e.g. Nile tilapia, catfish, trout) in ponds, tanks, raceways, cages, etc.


Mariculture refers to the cultivation of marine organisms in seawater, usually in sheltered coastal waters. The farming of marine fish is an example of mariculture, and so also is the farming of marine crustaceans (such as shrimp), mollusks (such as oysters), and seaweed.


Integrated multi-trophic aquaculture (IMTA) is a practice in which the byproducts (wastes) from one species are recycled to be used as maybe fertilizers or food for another. Fed aquaculture (for example, fish, shrimp) is combined with inorganic extractive and organic extractive (for example, shellfish) aquaculture to create balanced systems for environmental sustainability (bio mitigation), economic stability (product diversification and risk reduction) and social acceptability (better management practices).

Ideally, the biological and chemical processes in an IMTA system should balance. This is achieved through the appropriate selection and proportions of different species providing different ecosystem functions. The co-cultured species are typically more than just bio filters; they are harvestable crops of commercial value. A working IMTA system can result in greater total production based on mutual benefits to the co-cultured species and improved ecosystem health, even if the production of individual species is lower than in a monoculture over a short term period.

Netting materials

Various materials, including nylon, polyester, polypropylene, polyethylene, plastic-coated welded wire, rubber, galvanized steel and copper are used for netting in aquaculture fish enclosures around the world. All of these materials are selected for a variety of reasons which may include; design feasibility, cost, material strength and corrosion resistance.

Recently, copper alloys have become important netting materials in aquaculture because they are antimicrobial-they destroy bacteria, viruses, fungi, algae, and other microbes-thereby preventing biofouling (i.e., the undesirable accumulation, adhesion, and growth of microorganisms, plants, algae, tubeworms, barnacles, mollusks, and other organisms). By inhibiting biofouling, costly net changes are avoided and money is saved. It also allows for a cleaner and healthier environment for farmed fish to grow and thrive

Impacts of aquaculture

If carried out without consideration of effects on the surrounding environment, aquaculture can result in environmental damages. Local concerns with aquaculture in inland waters may include waste handling, side-effects of antibiotics, competition between farmed and wild animals, and the potential introduction of invasive plant and animal species, or foreign pathogens, particularly if unprocessed fish are used to feed more marketable carnivorous fish. An improvement in methods resulting from advances in research and the availability of commercial feeds has reduced some of these concerns since their greater prevalence in 1990s and 2000s.

Fish oils

Tilapia from aquaculture has been shown to contain more fat and a much higher ratio of omega-6 to omega-3 oils

Impacts on wild fish

Farmed salmon consume more wild fish than they generate as a final product, although the efficiency of production is improving. To produce one pound of farmed salmon, products from several pounds of wild fish are fed to them - this can be described as the "fish-in-fish-out" (FIFO) ratio. In 1995, salmon had a FIFO ratio of 7.5 (meaning 7.5 pounds of wild fish feed were required to produce 1 pound of salmon); by 2006 the ratio had fallen to 4.9. Additionally, a growing share of fish oil and fishmeal come from residues (byproducts of fish processing), rather than dedicated whole fish. However, fishmeal and oil from residues instead of whole fish have a different composition with more ash and less protein, which may limit its potential use for aquaculture.

The industrial scale extraction of wild forage fish for salmon farming impacts the survivability of the wild predator fish that rely on them for food. An important step in reducing the impact of aquaculture on wild fish is shifting carnivorous species to plant-based feeds. Salmon feeds, for example, have gone from containing only fishmeal and oil to containing 40% plant protein. When properly formulated (and often mixed with fishmeal or oil), plant-based feeds can provide proper nutrition and similar growth rates in carnivorous farmed fish. Another impact aquaculture production can have on wild fish is the risk of fish escaping from coastal pens, where they can interbreed with their wild counterparts, diluting wild genetic stocks. Escaped fish can become invasive, out-competing native species.

2.6 Merits of Aquaculture.

Opportunities to enhance aquaculture contribution to National development

Aquaculture as a potential contributor to national development is presented with a lot of opportunities in Kenya. Some of these are:

1. Recognition by the government in its various strategic development papers as a priority area especially for the rural development and the government has created conducive climate in which aquaculture can flourish.

2. Aquaculture can easily be integrated into conventional farming including small scale crop and animal production in the rural areas and maximize resource use

3. Aquaculture management involves issues conventional farmers deal with e.g. stocking, harvesting feeding etc.

4. Aquaculture is a legitimate user of land and water; consequently, industry has equitable access to the aquatic resource base.

5. Aquaculture is considered in the development of fisheries management policies.

6. Aquaculture development is focused and implemented, in a manner consistent with national objectives, and standards.

7. The government is harmonizing policies and regulations essential to aquaculture development.

8. The government has put in a lot of Eliot in research and development and technology transfer which are prerequisites for industry development.

9. An appropriately trained workforce essential to aquaculture development is in place.

2.7 Major Challenges to Aquaculture Growth in Kenya

There are a host of challenges facing the growth of Kenya's aquaculture industry. These challenges are surmountable if deliberate efforts are directed to addressing specific areas of problems. Some of the most important challenges include:

1. Uncoordinated promotion of aquaculture through many institutions, which include Government, research institutions, Universities, NGOs, and Regional Authorities, among others. This has not facilitated aquaculture growth because the farmer is left confused by many different extension officers who visit and give varying information.

2. There is no comprehensive policy on aquaculture, including legislation and this is an indicator of the low priority the policy makers have accorded aquaculture as an economic activity.

3. Lack of certified quality seeds (fingerlings, and commercially produced feeds.

4. Weak research programs that are not demand-driven S. Inadequate training programs for farmers and extension workers.

6. Inadequate outreach programs and inefficiency in dissemination of technology transfer to farmers. Many farmers with good land that can be put into profitable aquaculture are not even aware of this potential.

7. Poor record keeping by farmers and inefficient statistical data collection has impeded information dissemination on viability of aquaculture.

8. Low funding of the sub-sector activities by the Government and low investments by the private sector.

9. Inadequate entrepreneurship skills by farmers and lack of credit.

2.8 Areas to Focus to Revitalize Aquaculture Growth

In order to expedite aquaculture development in Kenya, there is great need for a paradigm shift. There is need to change the extension approach to aquaculture development for meaningful development in to be realized. For this to take effect, aquaculture must be treated and operated as a personal enterprise with the sole aim of making economic gains to the investors. Therefore, the following strategic issues are seen as critical areas of intervention in the process of revitalizing aquaculture development in Kenya;

I. Weak policy and legal framework in aquaculture sub-sector.

The Kenyan aquaculture sector has operated without a comprehensive aquaculture policy and legislation. This has reduced management and research effectiveness, discouraged investment in aquaculture, and constrained production and growth. To address this issue, the Ministry will undertake to: Create an enabling environment through a). Develop an aquaculture policy and legislation b). Develop an aquaculture master plan and strategic plan c). Develop aquaculture standard operating procedures

II. Poor access to markets

The development and access to markets of aquaculture products is constrained by poor state of roads, and inadequate market information and infrastructure, fish diseases and pests, lack of sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards for aquaculture products. Also, aquaculture products diversification and value addition are not yet fully developed.

To facilitate access to markets, the ministry will undertake to;

a). Develop marketing infrastructure.

b). Build capacity support for communities and farmers' organizations (Common Interest Groups) in marketing

c). Organize promotions through trade fairs/stakeholder forums

d). Develop market information systems

e). Promote and mainstream sanitary and phyto-sanitary standards in aquaculture

 f). Promote investment in aquaculture through Public Private Partnerships (PPP).

g). Promote and facilitate value addition for aquaculture products

h). Promote and facilitate recruitment of new aquaculture species

i). Develop aquaculture extension guidelines and standard operating procedures (SOPs).

Ill. Low Productivity and output

To take advantage of available domestic and international market, the aquaculture sub-sector must improve its competitiveness. This calls for strategies that entail sustainable increase and improved efficiency in the production systems. This will be achieved by encouraging:

a). Breeding programs to expand access to improved aquaculture genetic material

b). Promoting environmental protection and conservation by developing an aquaculture checklist program.

c). Promoting integrated aquaculture production systems,

d). Production of certified fish seeds and feeds el. Developing standards for fish feeds and establishing fish Seed Certification Units (FSCUs).

f). Promote diversification of aquaculture products through recruitment of new aquaculture species.

g). Undertake effective dissemination of effective aquaculture technologies inducing on-farm trials

h). Enhancing collaboration and linkages with relevant research institutions/stakeholders and undertaking pluralistic demand-driven research (in line with the National Agriculture Research System policy)

i). Developing business oriented aquaculture extension packages j). Facilitating access to affordable credit to investors in aquaculture

IV. Weak institutional capacity

Policy implementation depends on existence of strong and appropriate institutions. The changed role of government in a liberalized market economy requires that public institutions to facilitate and support the private sector and other stakeholders to implement policy. This requires clarity in the role of different institutions and a service delivery system that empowers people at the grassroots to own the development process.

This will be achieved through

a). Reforming and restructuring the aquaculture sub-sector (by development of two functional lines in aquaculture Le. aquaculture production and aquaculture extension)

b). Developing a service charter

V. Weak Monitoring and Evaluation framework

The department of fisheries currently has no Project Monitoring and Evaluation unit and the ministry will therefore undertake to address this weakness by;

a). Developing a comprehensive baseline information database for aquaculture development

b). Creating a monitoring and evaluation strategy for aquaculture development

c). Developing framework for aquaculture development Monitoring and Evaluation

d). Mainstreaming M an E within the functions of aquaculture division

VI. Inadequate information technology

This will be addressed by mainstreaming and enhancing ICT in aquaculture through development and implementation of an integrated information management system.

2.9 Opportunities in aquaculture for employment and sustainable livelihoods.

With an overall growth rate of 11% a year since 1984, aquaculture has been the world's fastest growing food-producing sectors for nearly 20 years. Approximately 90% of the total aquaculture production comes from developing countries, and a large proportion of this is produced by small-scale producers in Low Income Food Deficit Countries (LIFDCs). According to FAO, aquaculture can make an important contribution to poverty alleviation, food security and social well-being, and already does so in many developing countries. However, although potential abound in Kenya, it has not yet been fully realized.

Aquaculture provides food of high nutritional value for households, and when small-scale farmers combine agriculture and aquaculture they improve their food supply, increase their income and become better able to withstand shocks. It decreases the risk to production, increases farm sustainability and in general boosts rural development.

Extensive water bodies provide great potential for food and incomes for rural population. However poverty and protein deficiency persists among communities living within reach of such resources. The Kenya Integrated Household Survey of 2005/06 indicated that 46% of the rural population living near perennial and seasonal water bodies fall below the poverty line. This is despite the potential these water bodies hold. Kenya's focus has mainly been on producing more food, earning higher incomes and improving economies in these rural areas and aquaculture provides the opportunity to ensure food security, alleviate poverty, and promote social equity and prosperity in such areas. This was clearly demonstrated through the on farm trials done by the Aquaculture Collaborative Research Support Program (ACRSP) program funded by USAID which helped change the approach to aquaculture in Kenya and contributed to the rapidly changing attitude towards commercial fish farming in Kenya. The program demonstrated that aquaculture can be a lucrative business opportunity, which can address the problems of poverty and food insecurity for the rural poor. The dramatic productivity improvement where collaborating farmers in an on-farm-trial, realized an increase in net average annualized production, raised hopes to both potential and existing farmers who have access to this information.

2.9.1 Opportunities for aquaculture investment in Kenya exist in:

i). Cage culture: This can be done in rivers, water reservoirs, lakes, Indian Ocean and in the many water reservoirs in the country. The advantage of cage culture is that more can be generated from such water bodies than currently is, and the technology and the capital input do not have to be overwhelming.

ii). Integrated aquaculture: Aquaculture can easily be integrated with conventional crop and livestock farming. The management techniques and inputs employed are similar to those that crop and livestock farmers are familiar with. Integration has a lot of benefits for farmers in addition to the production of fish for consumption or sale. It increases efficiency in use of available production resources by allowing for recirculation of nutrients among different production units.

iii). Ornamental fish culture: There are only a handful of ornamental fish producers in Kenya. There are great opportunities in ornamental fish culture. A ready market already exists for the products locally, within the east African region and also outside the region.

iv). Bait culture: There exists a very big market for bait Juvenile fish for the Nile perch capture industry in Lake Victoria. The technology for the culture of the bait fish exists locally among aquaculture experts and many farmers and a large market exists in the Lake region.

v). Declining capture fisheries and the increasing demand for fish and fisheries products offers great opportunities to producers towards meeting both the increasing local and export demand for fisheries products.

vi). Diversification on crop and livestock farming which can not only put to productive use otherwise idle land during certain seasons but also other resources that could support aquaculture production

vii). Integration with livestock farming in regions where fish could be stocked in water reservoirs meant for livestock watering. This would increase the benefits amassed from such water bodies by diversifying sources and increasing security for quality food and sources of income.

viii). Culture-based fisheries. There are many water reservoirs in the country. These include domestic water reservoirs, livestock watering reservoirs and the hydroelectric dams. Culture based fisheries involves stocking of such reservoirs with appropriate fish species of commercial value which is later harvested when mature. This can have an overall effect of increasing the fisheries resource base and therefore food security and incomes to fishers.

2.10 Effects of Aquaculture in Kenya

2.10.1 Bad Effects of aquaculture to the environment

Fish farms, or aqua farms discharge waste, pesticide and other chemicals directly into ecologically fragile coastal waters, destroying local ecosystem. And aquaculture farms that raise fish directly in areas of natural waters kill off thriving natural habitat by overloading them for beyond their capacity. Waste from excessive number of fish can cause huge blankets of green slime on the water's surface depleting oxygen and killing much of the life in the water. In Brazil, destruction caused by aquaculture changed the local climate so much that some aquaculture species have been forced to be extinct.

2.10.2 Crowding

Because fish are adapted to navigate large bodies of water and use all senses to do so, they suffer immensely because of the cramped condition and lack of space on fish farms. The light enclose inhibits their ability to navigate properly and cause them to knock against each other and the sides of the enclose. This causes damages to their bodies and fins.




3.1 Introduction

This chapter presents aspects relating to the methods and procedures employed in collecting data for this study. These included research design, location of the study, target population,  sample and sampling techniques, research instruments, validity and reliability, data collection procedure, data analysis and ethical considerations.

3.2 Research Design

The study adopted a descriptive survey research design. Descriptive survey research design was also chosen because it involves collecting quantitative and qualitative data in order to answer questions or test hypotheses concerning the current status of the subjects of the study.  Also note that the design seeks to identify the nature of factors involved in a given situation, determine the degree in which they exist and discover the links that exist between them. The research design was relevant in this study because it provided empirical information about aspects of Aquaculture and its influence on similar initiated projects. It aided the researcher in examining the attitudes, opinions, perception and characteristics of aquaculture. The design also enabled the researcher to undertake a desk study in which relevant literature was studied and a field work to collect primary data using qualitative data collection methods.

3.3 Target Population

This study targeted the variation of fish farming in Kenya. '

3.4 Sample selection and Sample Size

In an ideal situation, data should be collected from the whole target population in Kenya. Since the population was too large and scattered, it was prohibitively expensive to use the whole population in the study. It was also not necessary and practical to make a list of the entire population especially for the members of the fish variety in the country. Under these circumstances data was collected from secondary sources that included various publications, articles and journals and interviews carried out on various fisheries officers from the state department of fisheries.   

3.5 Data Collection Instruments

Data collection instrument are tools used to collect data from respondents. Interview schedules were used to solicit data from the respondents. More so, for the regional coordinator and the field officers in the Fisheries Ministry. Interviews are the most common forms of data collection in qualitative research (Lichtman, 2010).  Kvale  (1996)  argues  that  the  aim  of  an  interview  is  to  gain open nuanced descriptions of different aspects of the subjects' life world. The interviews therefore gave the researcher the freedom to focus on the dimensions thought to be important in management.

3.6 Data Collection Procedure

Data collection refers to gathering of information to serve or prove some facts. Upon approval of the research proposal by the supervisor, the researcher obtained a letter authorizing him to carry out the field research from the University. The letter also introduced the researcher and the study to be undertaken. These steps enabled the researcher to effectively carry out the research and the desired sequencing of the steps (Kyale, 1996). The interviews were conducted by the researcher. All the respondents who took part in the interview were visited to explain the purpose of the study, and book appropriate dates for a one-on-one interview. This created an opportunity to establish a rapport with them.

3.7 Data analysis techniques

According to Kerlinger, (2008), it is believed that a good educational research should provide a comprehensive analysis of data. In my study, qualitative data was used.

3.8 Qualitative Data Analysis

The researcher used interviews for the participants to collect data which was analyzed qualitatively. The researcher noted down the information as the interviews progress hence this enabled the researcher to fully record or capture all the important information needed from the respondents .The study followed the principles of thematic analysis as proposed by Brann and Clerke (2006).According to Brann and Clerke (2006) thematic analysis is a method for identifying and analyzing themes (patterns) contained by data. It looks across all the data to identify the main themes and give a summary of all the views collected (Quinn 2012). Thematic analysis interprets different aspects of research and it simply organizes and describes data set in details. Thematic analysis was appropriate for this study because it is not grounded in any particular theoretical framework and therefore can be applied across a wide range of a qualitative research approaches, making it flexible to use.

3.9 Ethical Consideration

The issue of ethics is very important because despite the high value of knowledge gained through research, knowledge cannot be persuaded at the expense of the human dignity (Gay, 1992). Litchman, (2010) categories ethical issues into four (4) classifications that is protection from harm, right of privacy, informed consent and professional honesty with colleagues. In addition Polland, (2005) takes the issue of informed consent further, by arguing that it is unethical to collect data devoid of the knowledge of the subjects, and their expressed willingness and informed consent to take part in a study. In social science studies, anonymity and confidentiality are essential ethical concerns taken into account. It is important for the researcher to protect the identity of individual's information and ensure that data collected is reported honestly and source of information is not  disclosed, except where the respondent has given his or her communicated permission to do otherwise. The researcher respected each individual`s right to privacy. Respondents were assured that the information they provide would be treated confidentially. Statements of confidentiality was written in the questionnaires and verbally communicated during the administration of instruments.



4.1 Introduction

Despite the enormous potential for fish farming in Kenya, aquacul''ture has been characterized by low levels of production. With the population growth escalating to unsustainable levels and in''creasing food insecurity, Kenya's declining capture fisheries are unable to adequately provide cheap protein for the grow''ing population. Natural water bodies, that have also been instrumental in fish production, have had their share of chal''lenges, ranging from pollution to reduction of water levels that compromise fisheries (Lake Victoria Basin Commission, 2011; Obiero et al., 2012). In light of these problems, aquaculture is the best solution to bridge the escalating gap of supply and demand for fish.

The study data was analyzed under three key categories which consequently constituted the objectives and variables for the study, which were; the influence of aquaculture to the lives of the people living and practicing this type of farming. Visual aids in form of frequency tables, bar graphs and pie charts were used to present the results.

4.2 Response rate

There was a maximum response rate from interviewed personnel. This was ensured through the interviews and discussions carried out among myself and other fisheries experts. I was able to take down notes and compile them to help in the writing of this project report.


4.3 Results and Discussion

Kenya is endowed with several inland natural water re''sources such as Lakes Victoria, Turkana, Baringo, Naivasha, Chala and Jipe among others. Major rivers in''clude Tana, Athi, Nyando, Gucha, Yala, and Mara. In addition to artificial water bodies from dams, which are spread across the landscape, Kenya has approxi''mately 600 km of coastal shoreline with an Exclusive Eco''nomic Zone of 200 nautical miles, which could be used to enhance aquaculture.

The three major aquaculture systems practiced are the intensive, semi-intensive and extensive. Extensive systems utilize the lowest management levels with very little to no input being directed into production. The fish are stocked in floating cages, earthen ponds and other water impoundments and left to fend for themselves. These systems are highly dependent on the natural productivity and physical conditions of the water. The stocking densities therefore depend on the natural carrying capacity of the environment. These systems are characterized by low stocking densities and thus low yields.

The Semi-intensive systems, have been the major contributor to aquaculture in Kenya, with an average production of about 3 tonnes/ha, contributing more than 70 percent of the total aquaculture production. Earthen ponds and cages are used to culture the fish. These systems form the majority of production in Kenya.  Intensive aquaculture is used for culture of rainbow trout. This has promoted the tourism industry as is considered a luxury. It is supplied to hotels catering largely to tourists. Other intensive practices involve the use of tanks and floating cages. In all these systems, fish are produced by supplementing the natural productivity in the culture units by exogenous feeding, aeration and both mechanical and bio-filtration where necessary.

Kenya comprises of a lot of suitable land for aquaculture, however, only about 0.014% of the 1.4 mil''lion ha of potential aquaculture sites are used and about 95% of fish farming is still done on small scale (Otieno, 2011). Furthermore, aquaculture has been practiced mostly in the central, Nyanza, western provinces, parts of Rift Val''ley and coastal provinces (Nyonje et al., 2011).

The Kenya national distribution of fish culture systems and the respective cover area (m2)  

Since the beginning of Kenyan aquaculture in the 1950s until 2006, the total annual aquaculture production never ex''ceeded 2,000 MT/y. By 2007, the mean yield from fish farming was approximately 5,840 MT yr'1, identifying aquaculture as one of the viable options for revamping the country's food sector.

The sector however sector registered a depressed performance for the second consecutive year, with total fish output dropping by 19.8 per cent from 18.7 tonnes in the year 2015 to 14,952 tonnes in 2016 as can be seen in the figure below. Kenya, however, has far greater capacity for fish farming, with over 1.14 million hectares potentially available to enable a production capacity of over 11 million tonnes per year (Nyandat and Owiti, 2013).

Mariculture in Kenya is still underdeveloped. The most commonly farmed marine finfish species is milkfish, followed by mullet. Juveniles of these species are found in the mangrove systems and are having a lot of demand due to more communities in the coast being interested in mariculture. Shellfish culture in coastal Kenya has mainly been the culture of Mud Crabs, Prawns, and Artemia. The experimental oyster culture was carried out at gazi and Funzi bays of South Coast but were not sustainable due to lack of a market despite successful cultures.





The potential for aquaculture in Kenya is good, despite sub-optimal environmental conditions (altitude, soil conditions, access to water) in certain regions, for aquaculture development. The major advantage is the high (and growing) demand for fish, the relative high market prices of fish, the concentration of consumers in urban areas, the well-developed infrastructure and the importance given to aquaculture by the Kenyan government.

However, it is very unlikely that the present fish production will be able to meet the demand of Kenya's rapidly growing population. This is the case even when fish consumption remains at its current relatively low level. This is mainly due to the emphasis that is given to smallholder development and the rather extensive farming systems being practiced by these smallholders. Smallholders can play role in the provision of fish protein for local markets but more farmers need to be educated and motivated to practice large scale fish farming on intensive and semi intensive systems.

In Kenya the estimated number of full-time employees in the aquaculture sector is 400. This number needs to go higher in order to achieve maximum aquaculture potential.  

The domestic market for farmed fish is quite promising. More so, there is also a relatively good level of consumer awareness of the health benefits of eating fish as well as quality assurance of farmed fish. This combination of good prices and high demand is a real boost for aquaculture. Prices are expected to get even better than those on the world market for whole tilapia.

Almost all major towns in Kenya where aquaculture is practiced constitute an assured market. The market for food fish is still mainly confined to whole fish except for North African catfish fillet for which there is a high demand in some parts of the Central Province. The aim is to ensure the sector reaches its maximum potential and avoid declines in production as was experienced in the two consecutive years, 2015 and 2016.



I. The Kenyan government should set (and maintain) quality standards for locally produced fish feeds. Some progress is currently being made with regards to the setting of standards for tilapia feed.

II. Through the development of intensive catfish aquaculture, Kenyan fish production can grow exponentially. Catfish is relative easy to grow in high densities, thus making it an ideal species for the provision of cheap fish protein under conditions of limited natural resources (available land and sufficient amounts of suitable water). Therefore, a substantial production increase can be realized through the development of intensive catfish culture in Kenya. This can be done in land-based farming systems, but possibilities for intensive fish farming in cages should not be ruled out.

III. The government needs to come up with more programs such as the ESP, to boost aquaculture, finance and expand already existing projects.

IV. There needs to be more support for development of fisheries and aquaculture related courses in institutions.

V. Development of more institutions to promote aquaculture research and information to farmers.

VI. Both government and private organizations to invest in producer organizations and market infrastructure.

VII. The government should focus on putting more research, input and support especially in the development of mariculture.

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