Missouri Botanical Garden Open Conference Systems, TDWG 2014 ANNUAL CONFERENCE

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Biodiversity and sustainable conservation of the fish fauna and fisheries of the Congolese waters of Lake Albert
Jargy Kambale Soheranda

Last modified: 2014-10-03

Abstract


Previous studies of fish diversity of the Congolese waters of Lake Albert have documented 16 families, 24 genera and 46 species of fish. Recent studies have documented 16 families, 23 genera and 42 species. All of this information has been databased. This presentation summarizes the current biodiversity of fishes from Lake Albert, geographical distributions, and ecological role and economic importance of the different fish species.  As part of a program of fisheries control, conservation, and effective advocacy, several socio-ecological and environmental problems in the lake were noted, all with serious consequences for sustainability of the lake’s fisheries, including excessive fishing effort in the coastal zone; excessive fishing effort in the pelagic zone; overexploitation of baitfish; use of beach seines with prohibited mesh sizes; use of other nets with inappropriate mesh sizes; lack of economic alternatives for fishermen; persistent insecurity and theft of nets on the lake; and fishing in sensitive areas such as spawning areas. Other destructive sampling methods used by fishermen include the removal of aquatic macrophytes in the buffer zone along on the shore of the lake; excessive fishing pressure; and lack of or insufficient statistical data on fish populations throughout the Congolese side of the lake.