A review, based on personal experience of problems in systematic research on
the fishes of the East African Lakes, is given. A characteristic feature of most
of these lakes is the high number of endemic cichlid species that they contain.
It is estimated that for the three biggest lakes, Victoria, Tanganyika and Malawi/Nyasa,
about 1000 species or more are still awaiting scientific description. General and
lake-specific taxonomic and phylogenetic problems are discussed. The need for better
collaboration on various levels between morphologists and molecular biologists is
stressed. Some extrapolations to and suggestions for the future are made.