Images: Small-scale aquaculture emerging in Africa

Alison Sky Simmance

Ph.D. candidate Alison Sky Simmance researching role of fish farming in community development and food security in Malawi

aquaculture The meteoric rise and evolution of aquaculture over the past few decades has given rise to the need to put farmed fish on the menu in the global debate on food security. Aquaculture provides an affordable source of protein as well as increased employment and income to enable better access to food for many poor people globally.

As demand for fish grows, and capture fisheries supply remains stagnant or in decline, aquaculture provides the solution to fill this gap. The need for aquaculture development is particularly greatest in Africa where many countries have experienced an alarming decline in per capita fish consumption.

A study carried out by University of Southampton Ph.D. candidate Alison Sky Simmance aims to investigate the role of small scale aquaculture in Malawi, a country where the demand for farmed fish is becoming more urgent in light of declining capture fisheries and high dependency on fish a vital source of animal protein.

An integrated gender sensitive quantitative-qualitative mixed methods approach will be carried out to analyse the multidimensional relationships between aquaculture development and food security in Malawi. Implementing the creative participatory method, Photovoice, the study also aims to investigate in-depth gender and socio-cultural factors associated with aquaculture development.

This study hopes to provide a timely endeavour to broadening the understanding of context specific social, cultural, ecological and political contexts framing aquaculture’s contribution to food security as well as present creative methodologies to explore these complexities.

The Ph.D. study is supported by local collaborators WorldFish and LEADSEA in Malawi and is expected to be completed in September 2017. Further details can be found here. Follow Alison Sky Simmance on Twitter @AlisonSimmance

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Follow Alison Sky Simmance (pictured above, at left) on Twitter @AlisonSimmance