In the face of stagnating wild fisheries in Lake Victoria and a rapidly growing human population, aquaculture may improve food and livelihood security in Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania. Very recently, cages for farming the introduced Nile tilapia have been popping up on the lake at a rapid rate. While cage culture could provide food and income, there are many pressing questions: What will be the physical impact of cages on the lake's limnology? Will there be adverse effects for wild populations? Will farmed tilapia become a significant export commodity and, if so, will this create food insecurity around the lake? The coupled human and natural system described here explores ecosystem services by linking human food security and wild fisheries through physical and economic changes brought about by escalating cage aquaculture. Researchers introduce an ecosystem services model, MIMES, that explores the potential trade-offs of cage culture. Scenario analysis is nascent, but early results show damage from cages can be minimized. Cage construction could negatively affect lake biodiversity if cages are sited in sensitive areas such as breeding grounds. However, cichlids and other rare species currently appear to thrive around cages that act as aggregating devices and sources of food. Ultimately, cage culture management could minimize the threats to the lake's ecosystem services with strong scientific guidance and effective enforcement.
Ecological Risks of Net Pen Aquaculture in North American and African Great Lakes: Can BMPs Be Shared?
A recent expert review of the ecological risks of net pen aquaculture in the North American Great Lakes made a number of recommendations for Best Management Practices (BMPs) that should be applied to establishment of net pen farms. Based on that_study, researchers identified nine generic BMPs that could be applied to all Global Great Lakes.
Earth System Model Predictions of Climate and Environmental Changes in Great Lakes Watersheds to the Year 2100
Earth system models are the only scientific tools yet developed that are capable of integrating the multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes that determine past, present and future climate. Researchers here use the Community Earth System Model (CESM) to generate depictions of environmental futures under climate change specifically to serve stakeholder needs for each of the major Great Lake watersheds.
Climate Change, Agriculture and Sustainability of the East African Great Lakes
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) predicts by the end of this century ~1 4 degrees_C warming and an uncertain trend in future rainfall in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, perhaps 10% lower than present in the Malawi/Nyassa basin and 10% higher in the lake basins to the north. Radar altimetry records of lake level trends available since 1992 display decadal scale variability of 1-2 m, with an overall trend in the last decade towards lower levels in Lakes Malawi/Nyassa and Rukwa, and higher levels in the lakes to the north of Rukwa.
Can Fisheries Management in the Great Lakes of Africa Contribute to Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development accepts the formidable challenge of integrating historically siloed, economic, social, and environmental goals into a unified plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity. While small-scale fisheries in marine systems were given their target as part of SDG14: Life below water, at first sight the SDGs appear to ignore inland fisheries.
African Great Lakes Information Platform: An open, shared and relevant IT platform for state of the art knowledge and information sharing, learning and action
The 2017 African Great Lakes Conference, Entebbe, Uganda resolved to advance the African Great Lakes Information Platform (AGLI) (this platform) established by The Nature Conservancy. AGLI was created to promote research and collaboration and support decision-making to ensure the inter-generational sustainability of the lakes and their basins. AGLI will be hosted at the University of Nairobi and managed jointly with the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education.
Promoting Environmentally, Economically, and Socially Sustainable Cage Aquaculture (PESCA) on the African Great Lakes
Cage aquaculture is spreading rapidly on AGLs without lake-specific best management practices (BMPs) to ensure long-term socio-economic and environmental sustainability. PESCA project is developing a decision support tool (DST) and BMPs to guide development or improvement of policies and regulations to improve fish production and profitability from cage aquaculture with minimal impacts on the aquatic environment of the AGLs.
Multisectoral Integration and SDGs Implementation: Lessons from PHE Programming
There has been a lot of discourse throughout the sustainable development goals (SDGs) process on the need for integrated policies that consider the synergies and trade-off across SDGs thematic areas and how that is critical for the achievement of sustainable development. However, most of the discussions have remained in the global policy arena, with less focus on how the integration would be achieved at national policy and program levels.
Development and use of an electronic fish catch assessment (e-CAS) system for the African Great Lakes (AGL)
e-CAS is a software developed to manage fish catch and related statistics. The software provides an opportunity for fisheries authorities to engage Beach Management Units in collecting fisheries and related statistics which are then sent by use of mobile phones to a central computer system for processing and utilization. The system increases the frequency of data collection as per the LTA and LVFO standard operating procedure.
Strengthening Capacity in Research, Policy and Management through Development of a Network of African Great Lakes Basin Stakeholders
Members of this project will host an applied, collaborative workshop which creates lake committees on each of the African Great Lakes. Each lake committee will consist of relevant freshwater experts to harmonize and prioritize research, guide regional research efforts, and facilitate communications between partner countries to positively affect freshwater policy and management using regular in-person meetings, the African Great Lakes Inform, and other relevant means.