Lake Nasser is named after late President Gamal Abdel-Nasser, who started the High Dam project in southern Egypt's Aswan in 1960. Lake Nasser, one of the largest man-made lakes worldwide, was created as the dam's reservoir.
With a surface area of 5,250 square kilometres and a depth of over 180 metres, Lake Nasser is known for being one of the best places for fishing for numerous fish species.
However, the lake's annual fish production has decreased to around 22,000 tons down from 80,000 tons, Minister of Agriculture El-Sayed El-Quseir said late last year.
The state has announced plans to revive the lake. This includes imposing a three-month ban on fishing annually for two years and stocking the lakes with huge amounts of fish fry.
In a meeting with Prime Minister Mostafa Madbouly and a group of ministers and officials on Wednesday, El-Sisi was briefed on efforts to develop and clean natural lakes across the country, presidential spokesman Bassam Rady said in a statement.
Developing Lake Manzala
President El-Sisi called for completing development work at Lake Manzala through a comprehensive strategy for fishing and fish processing.
This should contribute to the state's efforts to restore environmental balance in the lake and help fishermen from adjacent governorates benefit from the highest possible fish output, the president noted.
Lake Manzala, the largest natural lake in Egypt, has seen a qualitative leap recently in terms of development, the statement said.
Lake Manzala is in the northeastern part of the Nile Delta, connecting the three governorates of Port Said, Dakahlia, and Damietta.
Illegally built structures have been removed from around the lake, and the canals linking it to the Mediterranean have been developed. Sewage treatment plants have also been constructed to prevent sewage runoff into the lake.
A ring road has also been constructed around the lake to ensure smooth access to it and facilitate the movement of trade and people.
Due to these efforts, the lake's total area has reached 250,000 feddans of pure water and annual fish production has increased, the statement added.
The average annual fish production from Lake Manzala is 60,000 tons, according to a 2019/20 report from the Ministry of Environment. The lake contains various types of fish, especially tilapia and mullet.
Fish farming projects
In recent years, Egypt implemented a number of fish-farming projects across the nation to reduce the gap between fish production and consumption, achieve self-sufficiency, and reduce fish imports.
In January last year, El-Sisi inaugurated the first phase of the Al-Fayrouz fish-farming project, the Middle East’s largest fish farm, located about 196km northeast of Cairo.
The project is built on an area of 15,886 feddans (one feddan equals 1.038 acres) and is planned to include 5,908 tanks with annual production of 13,000 tons. Its first phase, inaugurated this week, is constructed on 14,398 square metres and has a total of 5,331 tanks.
One of the most prominent fish farming projects, the Berket Ghalioun (Ghalioun Lake), was inaugurated in 2017 in the Delta Kafr Al-Sheikh governorate, 134km north of Cairo. It has a production capacity of 5 million kg of fish and shrimps per year.