Aquaculture in Hydropower Reservoirs
Keywords:Aquaculture, Blue justice, Cage culture, Climate change, Climate-friendly food systems, Water-Energy-Food nexus
There is an undoubtedly existing relationship between water, energy, and food and their interaction with the natural environment and mankind. Climate change is the talk of the day in global development discussions as it intensifies water shortages, energy, poverty, food shortages, and environmental degradation. Currently, most of the hydropower dams constructed in Africa are majorly built to store water for agricultural purposes, control flooding, and generate electricity. Notable projects include the seven forks hydropower stations located on the Tana River in Kenya; Aswan high dam in Egypt; Grand Renaissance dam in Ethiopia; Kariba dam in Zimbabwe and Akosombo in Ghana. Since agriculture is the major source of livelihood in Africa, the construction of dams is key for socio-economic development. Many countries in Africa have adopted crop farming and livestock farming but have neglected fish farming. Fish farming is mainly carried out in the natural water resources which highly makes it to be at risk within a climate change ecosystem. Climate change has led to the high and low fluctuation of water levels in the natural water bodies. This highly affects fish farming negatively and has led to the extinction of some fish species. To curb the problems faced by fish farming arising from climate change there is a need to create mitigation measures to ensure an adequate supply of fish in Africa. One of the mitigation measures is incorporating caged aquaculture in hydropower dams. Having caged fish farming will not only increase the fish supply but also increase income generation and food security across Africa. The paper followed a desktop research approach and provide detailed analysis of the relations between the availability of water, energy, and food in regard to fish production. A proposed conceptual framework for caged aquaculture systems was presented in this study as a means of promoting sustainability in food and agricultural production. The study further provided feasible climate-friendly food systems and blue justice approaches that can be adopted by the key stakeholders.