African Journal of Aquatic Science

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Studies on the biology of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) in Lake Victoria, Kenya: in light of intense fishing pressure

E Yongo, N Outa, K Kito, Y Matsushita


Nile tilapia Oreochromis niloticus is now the most abundant and commercially important tilapiine in Lake Victoria. From the total of 1 512 fish sampled from commercial gill net fisheries during 2014 and 2015, 809 (54%) were males and 672 (44%) were females, giving an overall sex ratio of 1.20 males: 1.00 females. The mean (± SE) length and weight for all fish were 28.7 (±0.1) cm TL and 506.6 (±7.1) g, respectively. The slope b of the length-weight relationship was 2.98, 3.01 3.01, for males, females, and combined sexes, respectively. The relative condition factor was 1.02 for males and 1.04 for females with little variation across the months of sampling. The length at 50% maturity was estimated as 31.0 cm TL for male Nile tilapia and 26.0 cm TL for females. Sixty percent of the fish in the commercial catches surveyed were below 30 cm TL. Comparisons with earlier studies in this system suggest an overall decline in size at maturity over the past 30 years, which may reflect intense fishing pressure.

Keywords: Condition, length frequency, length-weight relationship, maturity states, tilapiines
AJOL African Journals Online