Make Millions farming Nile perch: A source for fish maw a symbol of wealth and prestige in Asia

Nile perch from lake victoria so huge 100kg @youthinfarming.org

  • Fish exporters want Ugandan lawmakers to ban locals from eating Nile perch
  • As Nile perch quantities decrease, a great opportunity to explore farming Nile perch 
  • Nile perch, a source of fish maw, a delicacy in Asia, signifying wealth, prestige and honour. 
  • Growing chinese wealth ensures increasing demand for nile perch and fish maw.

Fish exporters in Uganda are asking lawmakers to ban locals from eating Nile perch fish, which they propose should be reserved for export to Europe and Asia where it is in high demand at high prices. 

The exporters further on argue that Nile perch has a more global demand than tilapia fish which should be promoted to be consumed locally. Nile perch is considered as the most valuable fish in Uganda, where 80,000 metric tonnes are harvested earning the country up to 153 million dollars annually. 

Nile perch served on a tray communal eating Uganda meal @youthinfarming.org

But such quantities of Nile perch fish are reducing fast. A particular situation in early 2021, involved the mysterious death of over 100 tonnes of Nile perch on lake Victoria that was believed to occur due to limited oxygen, poisoning, rising lake water temperatures and rubbish dumped into the lake. Though poisoning was later ruled out, from lab results conducted, which indicating that the Nile perch species was the only one affected while other fish species survived.

The situation is so dire on lake Victoria, especially during flooding when alot of refuse ends up in the lake, decompose creating manure and algae that ends up covering a huge area of the water body restricting the amount of oxygen in the water necessary for deep water Nile perch to survive. 

Fish maw: Asian symbol of wealth, prestige and honour

Nile perch is also a source for fish maw, which is dried fish swim bladders, that are considered as one of the top delicacies in Asian cultures. Fish Maw is a spongy substance about the size of a palm of human hand, light in weight and white in colour signifying health and fortune, that is popularly served during celebrations of the Chinese new year, weddings, and birthdays.

In addition, Nile perch has medicinal and therapeutic properties that heal weak lungs, kidneys, anaemia, boosts stamina and contains proteins, nutrients and collagen important for lady's skincare, preserving a fine complexion and increasing blood flow in the body. Many Chinese believe consuming fish maw improves their skin, and pregnant women take it to improve skin of their babies. 

Therefore, the fish maw harvested from the Nile perch from lake Victoria is gaining greater importance and value, due to increasing wealth in China, where it is promoted as a beauty product and as a symbol of wealth, prestige and honour. A kilogram of fish maw is sold between $450 to $1,000.

Nile Perch farming opportunity

This is an opportunity for a young enterprising farmer to explore the opportunities of setting up a Nile perch fish rearing business. There is more than a big market available for Nile perch considering China alone, is the worlds most populous nation with a population of 1.4 billion people, other asian nations, Europe and African nations where fish is consumed. In fact the stakes have are so high in Uganda, where if caught with fish maw you face steep fines or get imprisoned several years, leaving the option of rearing nile perch as lucrative activity. 

What is your experience with nile perch? Share your comments below.

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