Nile Perch declining in Lake Victoria

nile perch

Lates niloticus (Nile Perch). Photo by smudger888 (CC BY 2.0)

The introduction of the Nile Perch (Lates niloticus) into Lake Victoria resulted in the devastation of the local ecosystem. The native Haplochromine species became food for the large, fast growing and aggressive new species. However, in recent years it appears the native species are making a comeback and at the same time the invasive species, L. niloticus, is declining. It is estimated the population has been reduced in half since the turn of the century.

It is believed that over-fishing and environmental changes have played a roll in the resurgence of the native fish population. While this may be good news for the home team and hobbyists, the Nile Perch plays a big economic role in the region. From exports to the European Union to providing protein the the local population, the Nile Perch is important to the humans around Lake Victoria. For more information check out the article on New Vision. To discuss Lake Victoria’s native cichlid fish visit the Lake Victoria Basin species forum.

 

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