Assessment of the status of Lates stappersii (centropomidae) stock in lift-net fishery in Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma, Tanzania
An assessment of the status of Lates stappersii (Boulenger, 1914) stock in the lift-net fishery in Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma area, was carried out from January to December 2003. Results indicated that breeding is seasonal with peaks in February, July-August and December, and so was catch composition, with peaks in March, May and July–August that followed the abundance of its prey, Stolothrissa tanganicae. Catch per unit effort was similar between wet and dry seasons and peaked synchronously at all study sites probably as an indication of its abundance during those months; but also it could mean that the fishes were caught from the same general area. The unselective nature of the lift-net, a common fishing gear in the lake, could be exerting pressure on the pelagic resource, that leads to local over-fishing if not controlled. There is need to institute minimum fish size and mesh size limits and licensing, on a lake-wide basis, as fisheries management measures to safeguard against overexploitation of this highly variable and mobile yet important pelagic fish resource.
Tanzania Journal of Science Vol. 32 (2) 2006: pp. 1-12