Nile Perch fishing in Lake Victoria is done using gillnets and long lines. These gears have been deployed in the lake indiscriminately to the extent that in early 2000s the species showed signs of over-fishing. To address this situation, a slot size of 50–85 cm total length (TL) was instituted by the partner states to protect immature fish, and large adults to replenish the stocks while at the same time harvesting mature individuals. Catch Assessment Surveys, have been conducted regularly by the partner states between July 2005 and December 2008 to generate data for setting policies, development planning, and management intervention. A study involving two-stage stratified sampling on the Tanzanian side of the lake showed that Nile Perch caught in the minimum legal 5” gillnets were immature by more than 80%. In contrast Nile Perch of ≥85 cm total length, targeted by long-lines, were seldom encountered to validate the upper limit of the slot size. We advise to abolish the upper slot size limit and introduce a lower legal limit of 7” for gillnets.

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