Find Fisheries expertise in Cameroon
- Overview of the industry
- Fishery bodies
Cameroon was given its name by Portuguese settlers who, upon arriving on the coast in the 1400s, found seafood in such abundance they called the main estuary Rio dos Camaroes, or River of Prawns. With a coastline of 402 km, and an Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) of 16,547 km2, Cameroon has a fairly extensive marine area, and fisheries contribute about 21% to Cameroon’s GDP. However, Cameroon’s marine resources are limited by the island of Bioko which belongs to Equatorial Guinea, and which interrupts Cameroon’s EEZ.
Exports mainly consisting of mackerel, shrimps, cod and sardine are low, usually less than US$200,000 annually (2010).
The marine fishery consists of both an industrial fleet and an artisanal fishery. The shrimp trawling is historically one of the predominant industrial fisheries and is dominated by the COPEMAR fishing company. The artisanal marine fishery on the other hand is far larger but less discriminate in their target species, and mainly exploits pelagic fish such as bonga and sardinella. The artisanal fishery also fishes some demersal species such as croakers and threadfins using set gillnets as well as conical nets, locally called ngoto, to catch white shrimp. Artisanal fishing fleets operate within a distance of 3.2 km from shoreline. The canoes concentrate within the estuaries, creeks and coastal inshore sector. According to the IMF, Cameroon’s fisheries have some comparative advantage in the area of industrial and artisanal fisheries. However, since 1997, industrial and artisanal fisheries have followed different development patterns. While the modern sector has grown substantially, the production of the artisanal fishery has been mostly stagnant.
The population’s food requirements in the sub-region, as well as the needs of agro-industry, provide growth prospects for fishery products. The national market offers enormous opportunities, as fish is still the single largest source of animal protein and accounts for the highest import volume. Cameroon’s coastal areas in other words have high potential for further development.
The Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries is the government agency that manages marine fisheries. Research is conducted by the Ministry of Scientific and Technical Research through the Institute of Agricultural Research for Development. The operational structures responsible within this institute are the Research Station for Fisheries and Marine Sciences which deals with marine and coastal waters and the Research Substation for Fish Culture, at Foumban, which deals with inland waters.
|Fisheries organisations in Cameroon|
|Food and Agriculture Organization, The||
|Herp Breeding Farm & Co. Ltd||
|Ministry of Livestock and Fisheries, The||