A research by the WorldFish, an international, non-profit research organisation, says aquaculture can provide employment for additional 76 million people by 2050, if adequately exploited.
The research document released in Abuja at a stakeholders workshop on the Development of WorldFish Research Programme in Nigeria, said the opportunities would be provided mostly in developing countries.
It stated that with the projected global increase in global population by 2050, the global annual fish consumption rate would also increase.
According to the report, about 94 million hectares of land is being used for fish production in Nigeria, while no fewer than 1,477,651 people are involved in fishing activities in the country.
The report noted that the annual fish production in the country was about one million tonnes with the aquaculture producing 313,231 tonnes while local fishering produced about 759,828 tonnes.
It explained that fish was an important part of household diet making up to 40 per cent protein intake in the country with consumption rate of 13.3 kilogramme per person yearly.
‘‘Eight hundred million people depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods in the world. The very poor often rely on fishing as a primary source of income and are particularly vulnerable when fish stocks decline.
‘‘Increased productivity from sustainable fisheries and aquaculture can be a driver for rural development by mitigating risks to livelihoods and contributing to income generation and employment.
‘‘Significant improvements in equitable management, technologies, farming systems and value chains are needed to increase production and economic returns in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible,’’ it said.
Nigeria is one of the countries where WorldFish is implementing its fishery research programme to scale up fish production to meet local demands.
The development of the fishery research programme was inaugurated in Abuja where the Federal Government pledged her support for the programme in the country.