Lake Victoria Might Not Be Around Much Longer
IT’S surrounded by three countries and depended on by 35 million people for survival, but Africa’s largest lake is under threat of extinction.
Lake Victoria covers more than 68,800 square km and is the lifeblood for the people of Tanzania, Kenya and Uganda who rely on its waters to service its huge fishing industry. But pollution, over fishing and ecological destruction have many worried about an environmental catastrophe.
Reported in Slate, the history of Lake Victoria is a fascinating one. It was the site of a fishing boom in the 1980s and 90s when the world paid huge money for its Nile perch and tilapia fish. People flocked to the area to claim a part in the economic boom but it changed the landscape.
According to the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organisation (LVFO), there were around 50,000 fishermen and 12,000 fishing boats on the lake in the 1970s, today there are over 200,000 fisherman, 60,000 boats and a further 2000 new boats taking to the lake each year.