Poly-Aquaculture to Promote a Sustainable Fishery Resource

Lake Naivasha’s fisheries have substantial social, economic and health benefits, functioning as a source of protein, food security and employment.

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Yet, the sustainability of this fishery remains at risk. Catches have decreased considerably over the past few decades, impacted by fluctuating water levels and excessive nutrient loading exacerbated by the rapid growth of human settlements. The combination of these factors creates hypoxic (low oxygen) events in the lake that result in fish kills, threatening the health and well-being of many in Naivasha.

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GHS-A students and local fishermen based at Karagita Public Beach developed a proposal for a “polyculture” facility that would alleviate uncertainty of the fishery resource, where more than one species would be cultured, allowing for smaller feed inputs, more efficient recycling of nutrients, and smaller waste.

The proposal calls for a “proof of concept” project, that will use Blue-Spotted Tilapia and Louisiana Crayfish, two species already present in the lake. Experiments will be designed to determine certain characteristics of the polyculture system (such as total and per-fish biomass and quality of feed). These will help to provide recommendations that will promote ecosystem health if Lake Naivasha is chosen as a site for within-lake aquaculture.

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Group 2 – Aquaculture. Rebecca Doyle, Kevin Erratt, Kathleen Meszaros, Óscar Senar (Collaborative Program in Global Health Systems in Africa Candidates), and Christine Matindu (MSc Candidate Masinde Muliro University)

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