A Lake to Serve: The Exploration, Modification, and Degradation of Lake Victoria, 1920s to 1960s

  title={A Lake to Serve: The Exploration, Modification, and Degradation of Lake Victoria, 1920s to 1960s},
  author={Jan C. Breitinger},
  journal={The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History},
  pages={144 - 184}
  • Jan C. Breitinger
  • Published 24 November 2021
  • Environmental Science
  • The Journal of Imperial and Commonwealth History
ABSTRACT Over the course of the twentieth century, Lake Victoria faced an unprecedented decline: From a symbol of biodiversity, Africa’s largest lake evolved into a highly degraded habitat. What were the underlying mechanisms of this? Common explanations focus on the introduction of the Nile perch in the 1950s and 1960s and the consequential damage to the lake. This article argues, however, that this introduction must be read against the background of the long-term schemes of resource… 



The Origins of the Nile Perch in Lake Victoria

The history of fishery research and management in East Africa is outlined and the circumstances that led to the introduction of the Nile perch are explored, suggesting that repeated secretive introductions were made in the mid-1950s by members of the Uganda Game and Fisheries Department as part of a bifurcated effort to improve sport fishing on the one hand and to bolster fisheries on the other.

The Nile Perch in Lake Victoria: Local Responses and Adaptations

Abstract Introduced into Lake Victoria in the 1950s, the Nile perch has gained fame for prompting rapid regional economic growth and for driving scores of endemic fish species into extinction. This

History and timing of human impact on Lake Victoria, East Africa

High–resolution palaeolimnological data are presented, which show that increases in phytoplankton production developed from the 1930s onwards, which parallels human–population growth and agricultural activity in the Lake Victoria drainage basin.

The development of freshwater science in Britain, and British contributions abroad, 1900-2000

The nineteenth century was a period in which the framework of science developed rapidly and internationally. At its close there were, in Britain, the background and many active ingredients of future

A brief history of the scientific study of tropical African inland waters

The inland waters of Africa, and especially its large rivers, determined much of the original geographical exploration of the continent. Subsequently, their scientific study has contributed to the

An overview of the current status of Lake Victoria fishery: Opportunities, challenges and management strategies

Lake Victoria is African's most important source of inland fishery production, exhibiting an annual catch of ≈500 000 mt. The lake moderates local climate, serves as a means of transport, and a

Hydrology and Empire: The Nile, Water Imperialism and the Partition of Africa

  • T. Tvedt
  • History
    The Journal of imperial and commonwealth history
  • 2011
An alternative to dominant interpretations of the partition of Africa and the role of British Nile policies in this context is presented, which differs from mainstream diplomatic history in its emphasis on how geographical factors and the hydrological characteristics of the Nile influenced and framed British thinking and actions in the region.

Lake Victoria fisheries: the Kenyan reality and environmental implications

  • S. Riedmiller
  • Environmental Science
    Environmental Biology of Fishes
  • 2004
A case study at Wichlum Beach on the Kenyan shores of Lake Victoria has revealed the efficiency of traditional fishing and fish drying methods as well as the high ecological costs of the practice of kiln-drying Nile perch.

Multiple stressors cause rapid ecosystem change in Lake Victoria

Summary 1. Lake Victoria endured multiple stresses over the past century including population growth, increased cultivation of land, meteorological variability, resource extraction, intensive