Item Details

Title: Fish species diversity and relative abundance in Lake Albert--Uganda

Date Published: 2010
Author/s: Sylvester Bwaku Wandera and John Stephen Balirwa
Data publication:
Funding Agency :
Copyright/patents/trade marks: AEHMS.
Journal Publisher:
Affiliation: National Fisheries Resources Research Institute (NaFIRRi), PO Box 343. Jinja, Uganda
Keywords: fish species composition, habitats, threats to diversity


Lake Albert is located towards the tip of the western arm of the African Creat Rift Valley. between Uganda (/nd the Democratic Republic ofCongo Despite the presence ofseveral predatoryfishes. including the Nile perch (Lales nilol icus). Lake Albert supports the most diverse commercial fisheries in Uganda with at least 55 species Ihat vary markedly in size. The lake contributes at least 30% of the nationalfish. production. Increased human activity around and within Lake Albert, especially oil and gas exploration, may pose threats to the well being o/the lake, its diversejish communities and its fishery. During 2.0'07,
fishery surveys ",,!ere undertaken using gill-nets and seines in the Uganda part of the lake to idejJlify existing/ish species and their aitiwl habitats (/nd provide management recommendations for suslaining thefisheries. Six main hahitattypesjorfishes were identified: shallow river-associated waters; open sandy shorelines; Ingoons; large buys; rocky escarpments, and, open-water habitats. Together, these habitats harboured 40 fish species belonging to 12 families Lagoons, large bays and rocky shores had higher numbers offish species. Some species rare in most parts o/the lake were recoveredfrom the rody habitats. The shoreline waters contained moslly juvenile fishes. These hahitats were considered as natural refugia to fishes in {he lake and erfort should be made to prOtect Ihem in order to sustain species diversity in the lake.