The Cichlid Fishes of Lake Malawi, Africa

Abstract of Publication

Jackson, P.B.N. 2001. Freshwater fishery research organisations in central and eastern Africa. A personal recollection. Transactions of the Royal Society of South Africa 55 (1): i-xiv, 1-81.  

This review contributes to an historical record of research agencies in Southern, Central and Eastern Africa 1947-72, with a brief addendum on Lake Victoria to accommodate current interest. On-site, as opposed to expeditionary, research into African fish and fisheries development began in those areas where fisheries already existed. Funds were made available in an effort to provide food supplies to offset shortages caused by World War II. The East African Freshwater Fisheries Research Organisation (EAFFRO) serving Kenya, Tanganyika (now Tanzania) and Uganda, and based at Jinja, Uganda, was started with British Colonial Development and Welfare (CDW) funds in 1947. When further CDW funds became available, creation of the Joint Fisheries Research Organisation (JFRO) to serve Northern Rhodesia (now Zambia) and Nyasaland (now Malawi) was proposed in 1950, to be based at Samfya. This was approved in late 1950. The author (soon to become its officer in charge) was recruited into it in September 1951. The third Central African country, Southern Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), lacked large fisheries and declined to participate. The review covers early attempts at fish farming, the JFRO Survey of Northern Lake Nyasa (now Malawi), the pre-impoundment research on the pristine Middle Zambezi (the first elucidation of this river's ecology), and the ensuing research on the new Kariba Dam as it filled. Research and discoveries on Lake Tanganyika and other Central African waters are described, as is a celebrated controversy regarding the role of the tigerfish Hydrocynus vittatus as a predator, and an account of ill-considered fish introductions in East African fresh waters. The author's experience as director of EAFFRO and as manager of the FAO Victoria Fisheries Research Project is described.




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