Find Fisheries expertise in Lesotho

Agriculture, forestry and fisheries contribute 16% of Lesotho’s GDP (2007), but the contribution of fisheries alone is minimal as Lesotho is landlocked and has no access to the sea. There are estimated to be approximately 120 people engaged in industrial fisheries and about 10 in aquaculture.

Despite this, the country does have more than 2,000 km of rivers and several reservoirs, the largest being the Katse reservoir which is 36 km2. There are three river sub-systems in Lesotho, the Sengu, Makhaleng and Mohokare, with their combined length, including their tributaries about 2,160 km2. The total national fisheries catch per year has been estimated at about 32 tons, while the potential annual yield has been estimated at around 200 to 300 tons. In other words, there is a high potential for the further expansion of fisheries.

The catch profile consists mainly of smallmouth yellowfish, largemouth, Orange River Labeo or mudfish, moggel, sharptooth, catfish, brown trout, rainbow trout, common carp, large-mouth bass and bluegill sunfish.

The development of aquaculture, in particular trout farming, is also considered to have potential for expansion. Fish farming in Lesotho is currently more oriented towards the public sector than the private sector. This orientation is however changing as a result of effort made by the government to encourage private sector investment. Lesotho has two distinct fish farming zones due to differences in altitude. These are the lowlands where temperatures are relatively high and the highlands characterized by cold climatic conditions. Cold-water species are suitable for the highlands while warm-water species are farmed in the lowlands.

Fisheries organisations in Lesotho
Department of Livestock
Ministry of Agriculture and Food Security