Tuesday, 23 September 2014

SPECIAL REPORT: The making of an ecological catastrophe

From The Citizen Daily, Dar es Salaam
By The Citizen Reporter

Mwanza. For years, the success story of the Nile perch has been told in volumes and verses to the extent that this version of reality overshadows the impact of the fish on Lake Victoria.

But, for a predator fish that survives on Charles Darwin’s theory of survival of the fittest because of its feeding habits, the Nile perch has also created another disaster in the world’s second largest fresh water lake.

It is for this reason that some fisheries experts have always believed that there might have been a conspiracy to deliberately plant the Nile perch in Lake Victoria during British colonial rule in the 1950s with the aim of disrupting the lake’s ecological system.

For instance, in May 1997, Seafood International Magazine published an article titled ‘Nile perch: Marketing success or ecological disaster’ in which the author says, “Nile perch first appeared in Lake Victoria in the late 1950s, when it may have been introduced deliberately…The ecology of the Lake has been significantly affected by this action.”

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