School of Engineering


Poverty eradication through Aquaculture

Aquaculture is one of the world’s fastest growing food production sectors and plays an important role in global food security by providing a source of protein.


The Poverty eradication through aquaculture project set-out to develop community-led aquaculture in coastal communities dependent on declining fisheries in Tanzania. In recognising that many aquaculture development programmes have failed due to a lack of local involvement from the start and investment in infrastructure then this successful project developed an adaptive learning framework to document the process so that lessons learned and the approach adopted can be used worldwide.

The project conducted socio-economic research to collect knowledge about drivers influencing local livelihoods and was used to help understand how to develop sustainable and viable aquaculture. The project team comprised of local stakeholders, private enterprise business partners, social, environmental and economic scientists. The learning framework outcome is a participatory process for optimising sustainable sea cucumber, 'sandfish' (Holothuria scabra) aquaculture, taking into account local conditions, cultures and practices.

This species of sea cucumber was selected because in Tanzania there are suggestions that this species is already over exploited and there is an export market that can be grown due to the high demand for sea cucumber especially among Asian populations.

Project outcomes

1)    Developed a hatchery for juvenile sea-cumber aquaculture;

2)    Raised awareness of the potential for sea cucumber aquaculture to offer an alternative or supplementary livelihood;

3)    Identified social, economic and environmental drivers that can influence successful sea cucumber aquaculture production and motivation to become involved;

4)    Outlined constraints for developing aquaculture in Tanzania from social, environmental, economic, management, planning, policy and governance perspectives.

5)    Identified limitations for foreign private investors to become involved in aquaculture in Tanzania;

6)    Secured new funding for addressing gaps identified in research and development of sea cucumber;

7)    Developed an adaptive learning process for implementing sustainable aquaculture development.