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14 March 2023 Protection of fish breeding areas in Lake Baringo and the potential for sustainable resource management
James Mugo, Cyprian Odoli, Kobingi Nyakeya
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Lake Baringo (located in Kenya, East Africa) fishery is currently under perturbation with diverse annual fluctuations in the catch landings. In an attempt to remedy the declining fishery, Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute, Fisheries Department and Beach Management Units, identified and demarcated three fish breeding areas for protection. To assess the effectiveness of these protected fish breeding areas, three fleets of multifilament gillnets (mesh sizes; 25.4 to 203.2 mm) were set between February and December 2018. One fleet was set inside the breeding area, whereas the other two fleets were set 200m and 400m outsides. Fish species abundance, size structure and maturity stages were analyzed from the catch. Fish species abundance was higher within fish breeding areas (67.8%) than outside (32.2%). Labeobarbus intermedius was the most abundant (55.3 %), followed by Oreochromis niloticus baringoensis (29.9%), Labeo cylindricus (13.2%) and Clarias gariepinus (1.7%). Even though larger fish sizes were recorded outside than inside fish breeding areas, they were not statistically different irrespective of seasons (P>0.05). Majority of the fish (approx. 70%) both inside and outside the breeding areas were in gonad stages 1 and 2. The results indicate that the three areas have great potential to increase fish productivity through fish recruitment and subsequent spillover into fishing grounds. It is recommended that stakeholders, especially Beach Management Units and County Government Department of Fisheries, focus on actualizing the protection of fish breeding areas through enhanced monitoring and surveillance. Fishers should also be sensitized on protected areas concept, coupled with the need to use proper mesh sizes and fishing effort. Beach Management Units should be strengthened as co-management units to guarantee sustainable fisheries resource utilization in Lake Baringo.

James Mugo, Cyprian Odoli, and Kobingi Nyakeya "Protection of fish breeding areas in Lake Baringo and the potential for sustainable resource management," Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management 25(4), 53-59, (14 March 2023).
Published: 14 March 2023
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