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Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 5:26 am
by SergeS
Hello all :)

I bought, this weekend, some wildcaught Nyassachromis boadzulu (Kanchedza) - the real one by the way, not Protomelas taeniolatus! Now I believe that Kanchedza is in Lake Malawi's national reserve, and I assume that it's not allowed to catch or export fish from there? Mainly out of curiousity: how does this work? How do wildcaught fish from restricted areas end up in my tank in the Netherlands? I'm pretty sure that the fish were exported by Stuart M. Grant Ltd.

Just to make sure:

Image

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 6:25 am
by jcunningham0295
Very nice looking male.


Josh
Cunningham Cichlids, LLC.
1930 gallons of African Cichlids and growing

Cunningham Cichlids

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 9:24 am
by Lisachromis
Occasionally some fish are kept in breeding pens in the lake near the shipping point and since they are 'collected' out of the lake's waters they are called wild caught. Not sure if this is the case here; just mentioning something that does happen.

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 1:49 pm
by Pete B
I have been told that recreational divers can collect fish in the reserve, but not commercial ones.
If so it could be that a visitor staying at SMG caught a few and gave some to SMG.

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Mon Mar 18, 2013 2:18 pm
by SergeS
Apparently, Kanchedza is not part of the natural reserve! It's not easy to find information on the exact boundaries of it, so I hope someone can confirm. It would certainly explain it :)

Regardless, I'm happy I got them! Today, I had the luck of witnessing the male in his sunday suit. Very nice! And of course, the battery in my camera is dead :lol:

@ Lisachromis: yes, I am aware of pondbred fish, but such specimens are usually also sold as such (at least in the shops where I go). Don't think that that is the case here, but that is something that you never can be sure of, I guess :) Let's put it like this: the shop where I bought it has a very good reputation in the Netherlands for Malawi cichlids, and I trust them to know what they are selling.

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:23 pm
by Marklar
Note the protection afforded by the national Park extents to water 100 metres off shore and only 7 km-sqr of aquatic habitat actually included.(http://whc.unesco.org/en/list/289).

Technically possible to catch some species beyond that limit in some areas anyway I'd have thought. Also, easy enough to keep a boat outside the protected zone and poach within it below water unfortunately. Local food-fisherman blatantly ignore the limit as evidenced by photos of endless rows of drying racks on the islands where they aren't even supposed to land, so I'm sure some collecting teams have a liberal interpretation of what is 100m and exporters look the other way if their teams return with park species.

I once came across a scanned document of the citation for the park online (wish I'd bookmarked it) that included the budget for policing it and to be honest even allowing for it being somewhat out of date it was still laughable.

Lots of reasons in circulation as to how these fish can be exported but I suspect many are myths.

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Tue Mar 19, 2013 1:36 pm
by Philippe Burnel
Strange that the question is about N. boadzulu and nothing about "Otopharynx" litobates Zimbawe rocks... or other sp.....
Here is the map of the park (from "A guide to the fishes of Lake Malawi National Park - Lewis, Reinthal & Trendall, WWF, 1986)

Image

I

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 1:45 pm
by SergeS
Philippe Burnel wrote:Strange that the question is about N. boadzulu and nothing about "Otopharynx" litobates Zimbawe rocks... or other sp.....
The question was about that fish because I happen to own it myself :D I realize it's not the only species that lives there!

Thanks for the info.

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Wed Mar 20, 2013 7:49 pm
by Pam Chin
Malawi doesn't have the money to police the country let alone the lake. It is common knowledge that you are not allowed to collect or fish in the National Park but there is no one to enforce it. But it is buyer beware, importers like to put collection sites that are more desirable then others, and some species are identical at different sites, i.e. Aulonocara stuartgranti mdoka & ngara.

Hobbyists need to police themselves. When you buy a wild fish known to be endemic to the National Park you are just encouraging this practice to continue.

There really are two issues, one is ornamental fish collectors over collecting popular hobby fish and the other is the people, they need to eat. As the population grows then areas can start to detriorate.. Here is a photo of Chinyankwazi Island which has been completely decimated by fisherman, and which is clearly with in the boundries of the National Park. The the habitat is destroyed the water around the island is now cloudy and void of fish.

http://www.cichlidpress.com/smgfund/smgfund04.html

If anyone wants to help protect the cichlids inside the National Park please visit the Stuart Grant Cichlid Conservation Fund.
http://www.cichlidpress.com/smgfund/index.html

The bottom line is I don't know how your fish made it out of the park if indeed it came from there.

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Sat Mar 23, 2013 6:35 am
by dogofwar
Excellent post, Pam!

Is there a list of collection location names (for both Lake Malawi and Tang) that should alert hobbyists to fish that are from the protected areas?

Matt

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Mon Mar 25, 2013 7:05 pm
by Pam Chin
Unfortunately there is not a program or National Park for the fish in Lake Tanganyika.

There are a couple of ways to determine if a fish is at risk.

One is the IUCN Red list, which sadly is way behind on evaluating fish many have not been evaluated for 10+ years, but it is starting place. Here is an example for Tropheus duboisi, you can enter any valid species to get a result. And another reason to join Cichlid Room Companion, since every species in the catalog shows their IUCN listing.

http://www.iucnredlist.org/details/60704/0

Then there is the CARES list which is a species maintenance group. This is the only way we are going to be able to maintain some species since the habitat is destroyed. The fish on the list are evaulated by experts, you register your fish thru your club. See the link below for more info on CARES. Cares is just not for cichlids there is a variety of fish on their lists

http://www.carespreservation.com

Another way is just research on that species, for example if it is only found in one location of the lake, like Pseudotropheus saulosi which is only found at Taiwainee Reef in Lake Malawi, I believe these species found only in one place are the most at risk, if anything happens to this one area, habitat destruction or over collection then the species could be extinct.

The good news is that many experts Loiselle, Konings, Stissany, and many others believe that we can re-introduce species if the habitat is not at risk. We will find out this fall, when we release Ps. saulosi back on to Taiwainee Reef.

I have found the interactive map on Cichlid Forum very helpful for locations, and a good map of the park
http://www.cichlid-forum.com/articles/c ... s_list.php

If you have any further questions please don't hesitate to ask!
Cichlid Power!
Pam

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Tue Mar 26, 2013 2:24 pm
by SergeS
Thanks Pam. In the meantime, I found out that my fish did not came out of the national park. Which would have surprised me, as it was caught and exported by SMG ;)

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 5:52 am
by dogofwar
Thanks Pam!

I was under the impression that there were protected areas of Lake Tang as well.

Matt

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Wed Mar 27, 2013 7:10 pm
by Pam Chin
Matt,

Not that I am aware of??

Cichlid Power!
Pam

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 1:24 am
by Bojan Dolenc
Pam Chin wrote:...
One is the IUCN Red list, which sadly is way behind on evaluating fish many have not been evaluated for 10+ years, but it is starting place. Here is an example for Tropheus duboisi, you can enter any valid species to get a result. And another reason to join Cichlid Room Companion, since every species in the catalog shows their IUCN listing....
Look at this new one article: Progress towards a global assessment of the status of freshwater fishes (Pisces) for the IUCN Red List: application to conservation programmes in zoos and aquariums. International Zoo Yearbook. Article first published online: 14 MAR 2013 DOI: 10.1111/izy.12019
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1 ... 9/abstract

The 15 750 valid described species of freshwater fishes comprise around 25% of living vertebrate species diversity, and are a key economic and nutritional resource for people globally. However, information on the conservation status and distribution of freshwater fishes in The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species™ (Red List) has been extremely limited until recently. Over the last 10 years, the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Global Species Programme Freshwater Biodiversity Unit has made significant progress to fill this information gap. From a base of only 660 freshwater-fish species assessed on the Red List in 2002, a further 5125 species assessments have now been completed. As of 2011, 60 freshwater-fish species are thought to be Extinct, eight are Extinct in the Wild and 1679 are threatened with extinction. This information, combined with new work to identify important sites for freshwater fishes, will help the world's zoos and aquariums identify potential targets (species or areas) for in situ and ex situ conservation programmes.

Re: Lake Malawi national reserve fish

Posted: Thu Mar 28, 2013 7:38 pm
by Pam Chin
Thank you for posting Bojan!

Cichlid Power!
Pam