Center Profile

National Fisheries and Aquatic Life Research Center(NFALRC)

1.    Profile of the Center

The former, Sebeta Fish Culture Station (SFCS) was established in January 1977 with the financial support obtained from the Japan International Cooperation Agency (JICA). The station was built primarily to artificially propagate and stock fish fingerlings into natural and artificial water bodies aiming at boosting fish production in the country. The station has been administered by the Department of Livestock and Fisheries of the Ministry of Agriculture for over two decades until it was transferred to the then EARO in 1997. With this objective, more than 2 million fish fingerlings were stocked to natural and manmade waterbodies in the country. Among the waterbodies stocked with fish include Lakes Hashengae, Lugo, Ardibo, Fincha, Melkawakena, Koka, and Small Abaya are some to be mentioned. Following its incorporation into the EARO, SFCS was renamed as National Fisheries and Aquatic Lifer Research Center (NFALRC). As one of the Federal research centers of the EIAR,the center is mandated to conduct, coordinate and support research on fisheries and other living aquatic resources nationwide.



  • Adapt and generate technologies and scientific information on capture fisheries, aquaculture, limnology and aquatic ecosystems.
  • Establish and strengthen collaborative research with international and local stakeholders.
  • Provide technical support and training to governmental and non-governmental organizations, farmers/fishers and private sectors towards enhancing fishery research and development.
  • Coordinate and support research on fish and other aquatic fauna and flora of Ethiopian water bodies.
  • Rearing of fingerlings to stock into natural and man-made water bodies.

§  The research areas of the center can be broadly categorized into aquaculture,capture fisheries and aquatic ecosystem focusing on the following thematic areas:

§  Fish strain improvement and fish seed multiplication

§  Fish feed and nutrition

§  Assessment and enhancement of small water bodies

§  Adaptation and generation of aquaculture technologies

§  Fish parasites and pathology

§  Fish stock assessment

§  Lake and river ecology

§  Fish post-harvest management

§  Aquatic pollution and climate change.

§  Fishery economics and extension


National Fisheries and Aquatic Life Research Center (NFALRC) is located in the Oromiya regional state, Sebeta town some 24 km south west of the capital, Addis Ababa. The center is situated at the edge of the Ethiopian Rift Valley (90N, 390 E) at an altitude of 2200meters a.s.l.. By virtue of its location, the center is characterized by a moderately warm climate with annual mean temperature of 200C and total annual precipitation of 1200mm. The soil type is characterized by clay.

Contact address

Tel: +251113380023/+2513380813-15, Fax:+2513380657, email: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

The Fishery Research


Research on the aquatic resources started in the early 20th century and was mostly done through short expeditions by European travelers and short term residents. Ethiopian scientists became increasingly involved after the 1970s through a postgraduate study program at Addis Ababa University.However, fisheries and aquaculture has been recognized as researchcommodity in history after the center is transferred to the then EARO with the proclamation number 79/1997. Since then the center has undertaken enormous changes over the past decades in terms of research coverage and outputs, human resource development and research capacity building, local and international collaboration, and deliver and upscale fishery and aquaculture technologies/information to the end users.

Currently, the center propagates and maintains six different fish species in the center,namely: Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), Tilapia (Tilapia zilli),African catfish (Clarias gariepinus),Common carp (Cyprinus carpio), Crucian carp (Carassius carassius), Gold fish (Carassius auratus) for research and seed multiplication purposes.

The center has so far stocked over 8 million fish fingerlings (mainly O. niloticus) into different water bodies of the country. The demand for fish fingerlings has increased considerably and this calls for building more ponds and modern hatchery facilities.

The center has generated scientific information and developed technologies that best suit to sustainably utilize the natural water bodies (lakes and rivers) and manmade water bodies in the country. The research findings and outputs focused on sustainable use of the capture fishery, fish production potential, fish diversity, culturing system, fish feed and nutrition, fish post harvest, fish disease, river pollution and biomonitoring, lake ecology etc. Some of the technologies adapted/generated by the center include:Formulated feeds for Nile tilapia, (Oreochromis niloticus), Integrated agriculture aquaculture technology, all male mono-sex Tilapia Culture system, Stream and river bioassessment tools, Solar tent and rack drying technologies, cage culture system etc. Scientific papers dealing with lakes, reservoirs and rivers are published in reputable journals and proceedings and soft copies can be downloaded from the institute webpage/ResearchGate.

Technologies generated by the center contributed to develop aquaculture in small and medium ponds at a farmers’ level and in reservoirs constructed for various purposes throughout the country. Likewise information and recommendations generated based on research results contributed for sustainable utilization of the aquatic resources and guided policy/decision makers at different levels.

The research programs in the center entirely focused on fishery and aquatic resources which are implemented by different research divisions including Fish feed and nutrition, fish genetics and breeding, fish culture systems management, fishery resource management, fish post-harvest and gear technology, aquatic ecology, fish health, fish seed research and technology multiplication, fishery economics and extension, nutrition and microbiology. The projects currently undertaken by the centerare mostly supported by the Government fund. However, few projects funded by external sources are also run by the center. Theprojects supported by the Ethiopian government include:

§  Selection and development of fish strain for sustainable aquaculture

§  Formulation and Evaluation of Fish feeds from locally available Feed Sources

§  Utilization of manmade water bodies for fish production using different culture systems sources

§  Development and evaluation of alternative feed source for aquaculture

§  Enhancement of fish production in Tendaho reservoir and irrigation canals, Afar region

§  Development of management tools for sustainable utilization of capture fishery and conservation of aquatic ecosystems

§  Impact of human activities and climate change on aquatic ecosystem

§  Impact of invasive aquatic weeds on Lake Fishery and community livelihood

§  Fish seed multiplication techniques for tilapia, carp and African catfish

§  Nutrient Characterization and nutritional values of Ethiopian Commercial Fishes

§  Value chain analysis of fish production and marketing in major lakes of Ethiopia

§  Demonstration and extension of aquaculture technologies

§  Externally funded Research Projectscurrently implemented by the NFALRC are:

§  Sustainable Highland Rivers Management in Ethiopia (LARIMA).

§  Strengthening Regional Capacity in Research and Training in Fisheries and Aquaculture for Improved Food Security and Livelihoods in Eastern Africa (STRECAFISH).

§  Introducing Integrated Aquaculture Agriculture and improved Post harvest Technology (IAA)

§  Aquatic Ecosystem and Environmental Management (AEEM)- a joint MSc program

§  Adaptation and Development of Artificial seed production technologies for candidate aquaculture fish species (ADAPT-CF)


For joint project, capacity building and knowledge exchange, NFALRC collaborates with different national and international research institutes and universities. Among many the following are the major collaborators and partners of the center.

National collaborators

§  Regional Fishery Research centersnamely Bahir Dar Fishery Research Center, Ziway/Batu Fishery Research Center, Hawassa Agriculture Research Center and Arba Minch Agriculture Research Center

§  Universities mainly Addis Ababa University, Ambo University and Bahir Dar University

§  Ministry of Livestock and fishery, Regional bureaus and woreda offices

§  Ministry of Science and Technology

§  Ministry of Environment, Forest and Climate change 

International collaborators

              University of BOKU  and Vienna, Austria

              UNISCO-IHE , The Netherlands

              Bremen University, Germany

              Russian Academy of Sciences (JERBE), Russia

              Makerere University, Uganda


              Eldoret University, Kenya