Davar Ardalan: Tanzania’s innovative aquaculture industry

[Tanzania] My colleague David Ball is in Tanzania this week, supporting our innovators launching aquaculture projects in Tanzania. He is also leading a film team together with Ben Kreimer and Brett Garling to capture traditional and immersive footage as part of our aquaculture projects focused on East Africa. He shares this post from Tanzania.

Key players from across Tanzania’s aquaculture industry will gather in Dar es Salaam on April 27, to think about ways to support and scale local innovators whose game-changing innovations could advance the future of aquaculture.

“Aquaculture investments enrich our food systems, create new economic opportunities, and protect our ocean’s health,” explains John Feakes, Australian High Commissioner to Tanzania. “These innovators really have the potential to help families earn more money, reduce pressures on marine ecosystems and perhaps most importantly, provide protein for families struggling with hunger and malnutrition. That’s why the Australian Government is so pleased to be able to support aquaculture investments in Tanzania”.

In partnership with The Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade’s innovationXchange, and SecondMuse, the Blue Economy Challenge Aquaceleartor is supporting a cluster of aquaculture entrepreneurs from Tanzania and around the world. DFAT providing $3M AUD in seed funding and helping these entrepreneurs network with partners to bring their world class innovations to market in Tanzania and around the Indian Ocean region. Three of the innovators focused on Tanzania are:

The Recycler

Existing aquaculture feeds rely heavily on wild-caught fish, which depletes natural fish populations. The Recycler and Indian Ocean Aquaculture use black soldier fly larvae from food and other biowaste to produce nutritious fish feed. The Recycler is reducing the amount of biowaste ending up in landfills and producing much needed protein inputs for aquaculture at the same time.


Traditional peg-and-rope (off-bottom) seaweed farming is currently used by many women farmers in Tanzania. These women are working in often hazardous conditions, and climate change has reduced the economic productivity of this shore-based aquaculture industry. The Institute of Marine Sciences are adapting a “tubular net” technology that will be easier to operate, and provide increased and more reliable seaweed production and incomes.

World Fish/CSIRO

Annually one third of wild caught fish (around 30m tonnes globally) are used to make feed for farmed fish. This is unsustainable. CSIRO has created a fish feed additive from agricultural waste that uses no wild caught fish and enables farmers to produce fish with zero loss of nutritional quality. WorldFish and CSIRO are partnering to take the novel technology to farmers, in particular smallholders, to enhance their productivity and the performance of local feed ingredients like The Recycler’s.

Bringing together stakeholders from across the industry is critical to solve these challenges says SeaPower’s Dr. Flower Msuya, “At SeaPower we are committed to working with communities of women across East Africa, but we can’t succeed by ourselves. We need to work with others across Tanzania and the Indian Ocean region to enrich our food systems, create new economic opportunities, and protect our ocean’s health.”

About the Blue Economy Challenge

The Aquacelerator is an effort to support and scale the aquaculture industry, develop local economies across the Indian Ocean region, and improve our relationship with oceans, fishing and aquatic life, by connecting inspiring innovators with the networks capable of turning their ideas into reality. Led by the Australian Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) InnovationXchange, in partnership with SecondMuse, the Aquacelerator advances the global adoption and scale of the ten most inspiring ideas surfaced during the Blue Economy Challenge.


Photo: Women seaweed farmers from Zanzibar holding the tubular nets they have designed with SeaPower, a Blue Economy Challenge winner, that will allow them to grow higher valued seaweed in deeper waters.

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