In recent decades, aquaculture dominated all animal production sectors in terms of growth and is increasingly contributing to food security, poverty reduction, creating jobs and sources of income. In front of a global situation of declining catch fisheries, population growth projections and increasing demands for aquaculture products, aquaculture will have to be developed to meet future demand for fish.
For that, it is necessary to consider a combination of farming and catching activities at the dam lakes. These two activities can play an important role in promoting employment and food security, especially in rural areas through an optimal, rational and sustainable exploitation of fisheries resources with a participatory approach and a diversification of production methods.
In the semi-arid zones, the accelerated development of aquaculture in floating cages is due to a better choice of species with good zootechnical performances, good culinary value and a reasonable cost of production. In Morocco, the species is Tilapia nilotica (Oreochromis niloticus) one of the most cultivated species in the world (Fitzsimmons, 2013). In 2014, the threshold of production of this species exceeded 5 million tons, whereas this production hardly exceeded 200 thousand tons in 1980 (FAO, 2016).
The first experiences of commercial production of this species in floating cages in several Moroccan dams have shown that its production cost will be between 2,5 at 3$.kg-1. At these prices, it will be possible to market large quantities of Tilapia weighing 500g to 1kg and thus generate significant turnover by stimulating the development of this vital sector of the national economy contributing to food security (animal proteins to rural populations and diversification of species in regional and national fish markets).