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Climate change and its impact on the fisheries in Lake Kivu, East Africa

Balagizi Akonkwa, Bahananga Muhigwa, Simon Ahouansou Montcho, Muderhwa Nshombo, Philippe Laleye

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J. Bio. Env. Sci.6(2), 312-327, February 2015

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Abstract

The climate change, its variability and impact on fish catches in Lake Kivu, were verified from the analysis of climate variables and fisheries statistics. The results show qualitative and quantitative disturbances in the variation of rainfall, significant increase in temperature of 1.57°C, 0.63°C and 0.66°C at Kamembe, Gisenyi and Lwiro, respectively around Lake Kivu watershed. The relative humidity decreased significantly by 4.5% and 7% at Gisenyi and Kamembe, respectively; the wind speed decreased by 3 m/s. These changes resulted in a decrease of 0.58 m in water level of the lake, followed by periods of declines in catches of Limnothrissa miodon, the major lake’s commercial fish. Predictions show a decline in Catch per Unit Effort of 2.92 kg for approximate reduction of 0.01 m water level by 2025. Strategic policies should be made and adaptation measures be taken to prevent the climate change, in order to conserve the aquatic resources and avoid advert conditions in fisheries sector of Lake Kivu.

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Climate change and its impact on the fisheries in Lake Kivu, East Africa

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