Studies on the fisheries and biology of Oreochromis urolepsis (Pisces: Cichilidae) in the Mtera resorvoir (Tanzania)
The fisheries and some aspects of the biology of Oreochromis urolepsis of the Mtera Reservoir (Tanzania) were examined in August 2002. It was observed that there was no proper management of the reservoir\'s fisheries. Beach seine fishing dominated the fishery. Nearly all the O. urolepsis caught by this type of gear were juveniles. The number of fish caught by the beach seines was very high, some times up to 4,000 fish per haul. The beach seines also destroy the spawning sites for the tilapias. Mean total lengths of O. urolepsis caught in gillnets of legal mesh sizes (ranging from 88 mm and 114 mm), ranged between 22.0 cm and 27 cm. Their mean weights were between 236 g and 433 g. Most of the fish caught were sexually immature. Ninety three per cent of the fish from the 88 mm gillnets were immature, while only 28% of those caught in the 114 mm mesh nets were mature. The smallest mature female had a total length of 24.0 cm. O. urolepsis is a very fecund tilapiine species. A female weighing 450 g was found to contain about 3250 eggs. It was also found that the species is a phytoplankton feeder, taking in diatoms, green and blue green algae.
Tanzania Journal of Science Vol. 30 (2) 2004: pp. 33-40