Spatial and temporal changes in the distribution of Rastrineobola argentea in Lake Victoria

Date

2007-11-26

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Publisher

Taylor & Francis group

Abstract

Following recent changes in the ecosystem of Lake Victoria resulting from the introduction of Nile perch, Lates niloticus, in the 1960s, there is urgent need for information on which to formulate rational exploitation and management of the fisheries resources. This paper presents information on the biomass and distribution of dagaa, Rastrineobola argentea, the second most important commercial species in Lake Victoria. Data were collected during five acoustic surveys conducted between 1999 and 2001, using a Simrad EY500 echo–integrator with a 120 kHz split–beam transducer. Fish samples were collected using a frame trawl, bottom trawl and pelagic trawl, all lined with 5 mm mesh size netting. The mean total biomass of R. argentea in the lake was 476,902 ± 339,308 t at an average fish density of 7.3 ± 5.4 t km −2 in the sampled area. Potential yield was estimated at 581,584 ± 305,377 t (8.5 ± 4.4 t km −2 ). The majority of the biomass of R. argentea (an average of 68%) was distributed in waters of more than 40 m depth. The biomass of R. argentea increased progressively over the survey period, probably as a result of decreased predation pressure by Nile perch.

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Citation

R. Tumwebaze , I. Cowx i.g.cowx@hull.ac.uk , S. Ridgway , A. Getabu & D. N. MacLennan (2007) Spatial and temporal changes in the distribution of Rastrineobola argentea in Lake Victoria, Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management, 10:4, 398-406,