A generalized bottom trawl exploratory survey was carried out on Lake Victoria to: (i) define the distributional pattern and magnitude of the lakewide demersal stocks, Oi) determine the commercial potential of Haplochromis spp. and (iii) evaluate trawling as a commercial fishing technique for Lake Victoria fisheries.
Preliminary results suggest that: (i) bottom trawl catches are more representative of the stocks, (ii) species diversification and fish density decrease with increasing mean depth and (iii) at least 80 % of the catchable demersal ichtbyomass is Haplochromis.
Though bottom trawling is a much more efficient fishing technique for the Lake Victoria fisheries, bio-socio-economic consideration impose that mechanization of the fishery should better proceed in graded steps. Besides, demographic and nutritional considerations indicate the necessity for rational management and increased direct human utilization of the fishery resource.