The status of Lake Tana Fishery was evaluated from analysis of commercial catch data of number I fishers cooperative. The data collection has been carried out from September 2003 to September 2009. Results indicated that Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), African catfish (Clarias gariepinus) and species flock of endemic, large Labeobarbus spp. were the three main species groups targeted by commercial gillnet fishery of Lake Tana and form 65 %, 20 % and 15 % of the annual catch compositions of fish species during the study period respectively. There was significant variability among sampling years encompassing temporal aspects. Especially, commercial catch of O. niloticus were significantly booming up to 2007 and declining after wards. The most likely explanations for the declining catch of O. niloticus and others are the illegal use of undersized monofilament gillnet imported from Sudan town (Gelabat) and the harmful increase of the commercial gillnet fishery targeting the spawning aggregations of L. barbus spp. and C. gariepinus in the river mouths and littoral areas. The observed decline in the commercial catch of O. niloticus and others stress the need for the urgent development of a management plan focusing on controlling import of undersized monofilament gillnet, fishing effort and gear restrictions in the river mouths and major tributaries during the breeding seasons and implementing the regional fishery legislation.
Published on: Feb 22, 2015 Pages: 12-20