Discipline: Biological Sciences
Nika Sewell - Howard University
Lake Tana is the largest lake in Ethiopia at about 3600 km2 and it is significant because it is the origin of the Blue Nile River which travels across countries and eventually merges to become the Nile River. About 65% of the catchment seasonally becomes a flooded extensive wetland. A vast majority of the region’s population depends on the lake for fishing, income, food and overall survival. There are three (3) main species of fish that will be focused on which are commercially sold throughout the region. Those three species include the Nile Talapia (Coreochromis nitolicus), African (Clarias Garipenus) Catfish and Labeobarbus (Labiobarbs spp). Based on environmental effects such as pollution, invasive weeds and deforestation, researchers hypothesized that there has been a decline in these three main fish species since 2012 (2004 E.C.). Additionally, researchers hypothesized that fishing practices are influenced by many variables such as climate change, various types of fishing gear used, different types of boats and location. Methods included comparing new fish population data with those reported in previous years. Also, a survey was administered to the fisherman of Lake Tana to solicit responses about fishing practices. Results showed that the three fish populations have declined in recent years as predicted. Future research on this topic should concentrate on the environmental influences and fisherman practices that have contributed to the decline in fish production.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. HRD-1238466. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.
Faculty Advisor: Tiffany Lathan,