A recent expert review of the ecological risks of net pen aquaculture in the North American Great Lakes made a number of recommendations for Best Management Practices (BMPs) that should be applied to establishment of net pen farms. Based on that_study, researchers identified nine generic BMPs that could be applied to all Global Great Lakes. These were: adopt adaptive management (AM), apply before-after-control- impact (BACI) to assess new farms under AM, siting must insure adequate flushing and good quality water while avoiding sensitive environments, culture native and endemic species, maintain biosecurity protocols to reduce risk of disease occurrence and transmission, vigorously pursue all available practices to minimize net-pen effluents, develop management plan for wild fishes within/near boundaries of net pen farm, limit entry of new farms to the assimilation capacity of the whole lake, and require plan and bond for decommissioning. Researchers then reviewed the first commercial net pen farm on the African Great Lakes (in Lake Malawi) to determine if these BMPs were implemented, and how well they performed in constraining ecological risks. Eight of the nine BMPs were applied to some degree and immediate risks were minimal. However, some of the issues arising around allocation of wild fish attracted to the farm site were contentious. The major challenge of developing the net pen aquaculture industry and applying the BMP is the setting of lake-wide water quality targets for lake nutrient concentrations and nutrient loading, and will require cooperative action and agreement by riparian nations.
The Silent Coup on African Great Lakes as Small Pelagic Species Take Over Fisheries
African Great Lakes (AGLs) contribute 2.7 million tonnes (~25%) to global inland fisheries production (11.9 mt) annually. This is composed of large species (> 20 cm total length, TL) and small pelagic species (< 20 cm, TL). At the turn of the 20th century, fisheries of the AGLs were dominated by large species (tilapine cichlids, Lates spp, cat fishes, Mormyrids, etc.) and management concentrated on these species.
Food Security, Co-management and the Ecosystem Approach to Fisheries
Over 800 million people are malnourished and the global population is growing, and at the current trend 9 out of 10 children living in poverty in 2030 will be from Sub-Saharan Africa. The Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) Zero hunger and the SDG Life below water'promote the conservation and sustainable use of aquatic resources for sustainable development.
Earth System Model Predictions of Climate and Environmental Changes in Great Lakes Watersheds to the Year 2100
Earth system models are the only scientific tools yet developed that are capable of integrating the multitude of physical, chemical and biological processes that determine past, present and future climate. Researchers here use the Community Earth System Model (CESM) to generate depictions of environmental futures under climate change specifically to serve stakeholder needs for each of the major Great Lake watersheds.
Can Fisheries Management in the Great Lakes of Africa Contribute to Achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals?
The United Nations' 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development accepts the formidable challenge of integrating historically siloed, economic, social, and environmental goals into a unified plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity. While small-scale fisheries in marine systems were given their target as part of SDG14: Life below water, at first sight the SDGs appear to ignore inland fisheries.
Promoting Environmentally, Economically, and Socially Sustainable Cage Aquaculture (PESCA) on the African Great Lakes
Cage aquaculture is spreading rapidly on AGLs without lake-specific best management practices (BMPs) to ensure long-term socio-economic and environmental sustainability. PESCA project is developing a decision support tool (DST) and BMPs to guide development or improvement of policies and regulations to improve fish production and profitability from cage aquaculture with minimal impacts on the aquatic environment of the AGLs.
Climate Change, Agriculture and Sustainability of the East African Great Lakes
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (2014) predicts by the end of this century ~1 4 degrees_C warming and an uncertain trend in future rainfall in the Great Lakes region of East Africa, perhaps 10% lower than present in the Malawi/Nyassa basin and 10% higher in the lake basins to the north. Radar altimetry records of lake level trends available since 1992 display decadal scale variability of 1-2 m, with an overall trend in the last decade towards lower levels in Lakes Malawi/Nyassa and Rukwa, and higher levels in the lakes to the north of Rukwa.
African Great Lakes Information Platform: An open, shared and relevant IT platform for state of the art knowledge and information sharing, learning and action
The 2017 African Great Lakes Conference, Entebbe, Uganda resolved to advance the African Great Lakes Information Platform (AGLI) (this platform) established by The Nature Conservancy. AGLI was created to promote research and collaboration and support decision-making to ensure the inter-generational sustainability of the lakes and their basins. AGLI will be hosted at the University of Nairobi and managed jointly with the African Center for Aquatic Research and Education.
Multisectoral Integration and SDGs Implementation: Lessons from PHE Programming
There has been a lot of discourse throughout the sustainable development goals (SDGs) process on the need for integrated policies that consider the synergies and trade-off across SDGs thematic areas and how that is critical for the achievement of sustainable development. However, most of the discussions have remained in the global policy arena, with less focus on how the integration would be achieved at national policy and program levels.
Strengthening Capacity in Research, Policy and Management through Development of a Network of African Great Lakes Basin Stakeholders
Members of this project will host an applied, collaborative workshop which creates lake committees on each of the African Great Lakes. Each lake committee will consist of relevant freshwater experts to harmonize and prioritize research, guide regional research efforts, and facilitate communications between partner countries to positively affect freshwater policy and management using regular in-person meetings, the African Great Lakes Inform, and other relevant means.