A 4000 kilometre trek across the Sudanese desert has been completed by Paula Anton and Lori Curtis of FAO Fisheries as they took part in a survey of 18 fishing villages along the River Nile during a 17-day trip through six states.
The FAO technical team met fishing people and focus groups of women in each location, also meeting traders and others involved in the fish trade with the aim of establishing an overview of the challenges faced by fishing communities.
‘In recent years, the demand for fish has grown tremendously in the Sudan, particularly in its capital, Khartoum,’ said FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Department consultant Lori Curtis. ‘This has been part of a concerted communication effort to promote fish as a healthy source of protein and micronutrients, and has most probably also been helped by improved national infrastructure. The roads have been improved in recent years, facilitating transport from fishing regions along the Nile to the nation’s capital.’
She commented that in the past fisheries management was not seen as a priority, but this need for greater knowledge and fisheries management policies is increasing as the demand for fish products has grown.
‘It is a good time for us to be working with the government and the fishing communities,’ she said.
The assessment was designed to gain an understanding of the context of small-scale inland fisheries and aquaculture challenges and opportunities at the national level, while ensuring that the particularities of specific communities and states were also captured.