AQUACULTURE DEVELOPMENT IN NIGERIA - CLIMATE CHANGE

Effective aquaculture development has been identified as one of the viable means of improving local fish production in Nigeria thus reducing current deficit in fish demand and supply situation. Recently, Nigeria aquaculture sector has made some achievements in term of production level through private sector driven production however the gain recorded in this sector may be eroded significantly and food security threatened if there is no concerted effort to involve aquaculture sector in decisions and policies related to climate change especially as it relates to other users of aquatic system in Nigeria.

The issue of climate change and aquaculture is not presently focus in Nigeria despite the facts that the existence of aquaculture in Nigeria is still dependent on availability of prerequisite natural resources such as climate, soil and suitable water. This study examines the climate change and possible impact of this on aquaculture development in Nigeria. The direct and indirect impacts of climate change on the aquaculture growth in Nigeria were identified. The observed and potential impacts were discussed. The sensitivities of fish farming operation to various levels of climate change especially in relation to type, scale, intensity and culture environment in Nigeria showed that climate change may impacts negatively on the fish farmer’s livelihood with attendant serious socioeconomic cost.

The vulnerability of aquaculture investment to climate change is very high if appropriate adaptation mechanism is not developed. The needs for building on the current capacity in research and technology development in aquaculture related institutions in Nigeria have been identified as key to mitigating against impact of climate change on aquaculture development Technologies for increasing
productivity (e.g. quality seed and feed) at different levels of investment, expanding aquaculture zones,enhanced management practices of production systems and improving product quality need to be developed and transferred to the resource poor farmers. The use of Geographical Information System (GIS) in identifying areas of great vulnerability to climate change was discussed. It was concluded that for effective management of impact of climate change on aquaculture in Nigeria, the government at all levels need to develop strong legal frameworks controlling the code of conducts in the aquaculture industry in Nigeria.

Keywords. Aquaculture development, Climate change, impact, experiences, mitigating measures
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