Translocation of marbled African lungfish, Protopterus aethiopicus (Telostei: Protopteridae), and its fishery in Lake Baringo, Kenya
The translocation of the marbled African lungfish Protopterus aethiopicus into Lake Baringo created a new fishery for the local community, who capture them primarily in a bottom-set long line fishery. Its introduction, development and current fishery status in the lake are documented. Annual catch data were obtained from the District Fisheries Office, while catch and effort data of the long line fishery were recorded at one active fish-landing site between February and October 2001. Lungfish comprise a significant component of commercial landings, sometimes exceeding catches of the Baringo tilapia Oreochromis niloticus baringoensis as the most landed species by weight. Daily catch rates and effort varied considerably, ranging from 5.51–15.18kg day−1 and from 50–590 baited hooks day−1, respectively. Daily catch per fisher ranged from 0–35.72kg, while the overall mean catch per unit effort (CPUE) was only 0.003kg per hook-hour. This study provides the only baseline CPUE data for a lungfish long line fishery that the authors are aware of, for comparison with future studies in this or other lakes where lungfish are similarly exploited. Recommendations for improved management and the maintenance of a viable lungfish long line fishery in Lake Baringo are presented.