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International Journal of Biodiversity
Volume 2013 (2013), Article ID 269141, 10 pages
Research Article

Fish Diversity and Abundance of Lake Tanganyika: Comparison between Protected Area (Mahale Mountains National Park) and Unprotected Areas

1Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute, P.O. Box 90, Kigoma, Tanzania
2Graduate School of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, 3-1-1 Minato-cho, Hakodate 041-8611, Japan
3Faculty of Fisheries Sciences, Hokkaido University, 3-1-1 Minato-cho, Hakodate 041-8611, Japan
4Marine Parks and Reserves, P.O. Box 7565, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania

Received 19 September 2012; Revised 15 November 2012; Accepted 15 December 2012

Academic Editor: Marco Milazzo

Copyright © 2013 Emmanuel A. Sweke et al. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


High biodiversity is the most remarkable characteristic of Lake Tanganyika including vertebrates, invertebrates, and plants. A few protected areas have been created along the lake to protect its biodiversity. However, limited studies have been carried out to ascertain their effectiveness. The current study aimed at assessing and comparing fish diversity and abundance of Lake Tanganyika in a protected area (Mahale Mountains National Park (MMNP)) and unprotected areas surrounding it. The data were collected in the near shore zone at 5 m and 10 m depths using stationary visual census (SVC) technique. The protected area recorded higher fish richness and abundance than unprotected areas (). It was concluded that the protected area is effective in conserving the fish diversity and abundance of the lake. However, more studies should be carried out regularly to explore the efficacy of the protected area in conservation of aquatic biodiversity and abundance.