Friday, August 20, 2010

Nile Perch

Nile Perch are very large, predatory fish native to a handful of rivers and lakes in Africa, though it has been introduced to others on the continent as well. Lates niloticus is also referred to as Mbuta, Capitaine, and a handful of other monikers. They can grow over 200cm long and weigh over 150kg. Their potential for such large sizes, and thus large cuts of meat, led to their introduction, and has created a large fishing industry.

Image from Tour Egypt
Around 50 years ago, Nile Perch were introduced to Lake Victoria, with the intention that these large fish could be used by everyone who lives around the large lake. The effect on the ecosystem was extremely damaging. The Perch consume anything and everything, and have no real predators besides man. Several species went extinct due to the Nile Perch, and now measures are being taken in other parts of the world to keep these fish out of waterways. They are listed by the IUCN as one of the world's worst invasive species.

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