Fisheries Subsector of South Sudan

South Sudan has a huge capture fisheries stocks about the size of Lake Victoria reserves.

Existence of other water bodies outside the Nile provides attractive opportunities for fish farming

Numerous indigenous fish species occur in the Nile system and associated swamps of the Sudd region including Tilapia, Nile perch, Catfish, etc.

Potential production is estimated at between 100,000-300,000 metric tons annually on sustained basis.

Fishing is practiced as a complementary seasonal livelihood strategy by pastoralists when they frequent their dry season grazing grounds

Fish species in South Sudan

There are eight commercially important fish in the Sudd and probably in the other wetland and water resources in South Sudan namely;

  • Nile Perch (Lates niloticus),
  • Bagrid Catfishes (Bagrus bayad and B. docmac),
  • Nile Tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), carp (Labeo spp),
  • Binny Carp (Barbus binny),
  • Elephant-Snout fish (Mormyrus) spp,
  • Stubs (Distichodus) spp
  • Tigerfish (Hydrocyon) spp and c
  • Haracins (Alestes spp) (for wet salting)
Characteristics of fishery sector
  • The Nile (White and Blue), its tributaries and aquifers provide major wetland and water resources for freshwater fish in South Sudan.
  • The Sudd covers 57,000 to 100, 000 of land, is an inland delta comprising groups of wetlands; lakes, swamps, marches and extensive floodplains is declared an Internatinal Sudd-Ramsar
  • The Sudd has been proclaimed a Ramsar site, conferring a status of global importance to this wetland, containing the most globally important biodiversity/ fauna and flora
  • The Sudd is an important breeding area for Nile ecosystem fish species and is the largest potential source of freshwater fish in South Sudan.
  • Estimates indicate that Sudd alone could provide 100,000 to 300,000 Metric Tonnes of fish annually on a sustained basis. However, accurate statistics on actual production have been unavailable since 1991.
  • There are many other major and minor wetland systems (lakes, Rivers, streams and waterfalls) throughout South Sudan, some quite extensive, providing huge breeding habitat for a diversity of fish species and hence increase in fish harvest per annum.
  • Estimated catch for the whole of South Sudan is about 30,000 to 40,000 Tonnes; with 10,000 tonnes of exportable species taken to Khartoum.
  • 20- 30,000 tonnes consumed in South Sudan in addition to 2.500 Tonnes imported from Uganda every year. This gives a per capita consumption of somewhere between 3 and 3.5kg/person. Where fishing occurs fish is a much more important part of the diet than in those areas away from water
  • Production rate is at least 40kg/ha/yr from the Sudd, other wetlands, rivers and lakes
  • Maximum Sustainable Yield of the fisheries is at least 180,000 tonnes; valued at circus 300 million US$.
  • Low public and private investment in agriculture, contibuting to high food imports (40% of national imports)
  • Lack of productive rural infrastructure
  • Inadequate improved agricultural technologies,
  • Lack of inputs (including credits) and input supply channels
  • Weak institutional & manpower capacity
  • Inadequate research and extension services
  • Extensive traditional farming system with poor tools and agricultural equipment
  • No Agricultural Financial institutions
  • Recurrent natural and man-made disasters
  • Over-reliance on oil revenues 98% of budget, pre oil shutdown

Fisheries subsector has been summarised to include the

Current Status of Fisheries Sector in South Sudan