Fishes to sustain your protein nourishment needs during the Covid-19 lockdown

Rastrineobola argentea (dagaa) at a fish market on Lake Victoria, Uganda (E. Egessa). The dry form of the fish is ideal for long term storage with no refrigeration

Covid-19 is a global menace. Limited movement is among the leading

measures to fight its spread. As a result, most elements of human daily

activities including food supply have been disrupted. To maintain food

supply, people are stocking food supplies. Focus is on food materials that

are less perishable with time such as beans, maize floor, rice, and noddles.

Perishable fresh foods such as meat and fish which are hard to maintain in

absence of refrigeration are avoided for convenient alternatives.

Around the African Great lakes, there are fish species which you can easily

make part of your daily diet during the Covid-19 lockdown to meet your

protein needs. Fish catches or biomass in lakes Victoria, Tanganyika,

Malawi, Kivu, and Albert are currently dominated (about 60-90%) by

small size fishes such as Rastrineobola argentea (dagaa), Engraulicypris

bredoi, E. sardella (Lake Malawi sardine), Limnothrissa miodon (Lake

Tanganyika sardine), and Stoplothrissa tanganicae (Lake Tanganyika sprat).

A considerable amount of catch for these species has been ending up in

animal feeds. Their use as human food is increasing with more knowledge

that such small fishes are nutritious enough and affordable to provide the

much-needed nutrients.

Some of the fishes for useful for supplying nourishment. The fishes are available in local markets around major African lakes in dry form (Images are from FishBase).

These fishes are the best to turn to in this period. Cheap and available in

most local markets in dry form (sun dried or fried), you can be able to buy

in bulky with no worries of refrigeration requirements. They can be

prepared alone or added to beans, ground nuts, bananas, Irish potatoes and

other foods depending on where you are. The fried form can also be an

excellent snack for breakfast. Fish is a source of high-value proteins (better

than that of terrestrial animals), essential amino acids, minerals, trace

elements and omega-3 fatty acids. At this moment, they are necessary than

ever before in your diet to avoid undernourishment and unhealthy eating

during the lockdown.

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