Fish Parasites and Fisheries Productivity in Relation to Exreme Flooding of Lake Baringo, Kenya
Kiprono, Sigei Wilfred
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Fish production is an important food contributor to the global and local economy. However, diseases including parasitic infections have been recognized as one of the limiting factors in the production of fish. The increase in fish parasites can be as a result of flooding. The flooding of Lake Baringo that occurred in November 2011 could have caused water pollution that may have brought in parasites that could have caused fish diseases. No recent research had been carried out to investigate if different economically important species of fish in Lake Baringo could be infested with parasites. The objective of this study was to determine prevalence of parasites in four economically important fish species from Lake Baringo namely; Oreochromis niloticus, Proteopterus aethiopicus, Clarias gariepinus, and Barbus intermidius and investigate the effects of flooding on fisheries productivity. The study utilized a cross sectional approach and involved use of questionnaires targeting various stakeholders as well as direct observations and capturing of fish for assessment of fish parasites. Water samples were collected for analysis of water quality. Different sets of qualitative and quantitative data were entered into Microsoft Excel and one way analysis of variance (ANOVA) and Chi-square statistics were used for data analysis. Results indicated that there are five species of fish in Lake Baringo. A total of 400 fish specimen belonging to four economically important species were examined. Thirty four percent (34%) of fish were found to be infected with different parasites. Five species of parasites comprising 29.12% trematodes, 12.36% crustacean, 4.12% acanthocephalans, 37.91% nematodes and 16.48% cestodes were isolated. The study demonstrlated that contracecum species from mesentery and pericardial cavity was most prevalent nematodes (24.8%) in C. gariepinus followed by 16.5% in B. intermedius and 5.4% in O. niloticus. The variations in parasite infestations by fish species were statistically significant (χ2 =117.611; df = 3, P>0.001). The results of physical parameters of water showed that temperature ranged from 24.9 oC to 26.2 oC while pH ranged from 8.9 to 9.13. No significant differences was observed in pH between the months measured from May to September 2015 (F = 0.86, P> 0.05). Conductivity ranged from 1.55 (mS/cm) to 1.70(mS/cm) and the values of dissolved Oxygen in the lake ranged between 6.03 mg L-1 and 6.6 mg L-1. Salinity values ranged from 0.6 to 0.8 mg/L while turbidity ranged from 400 to 950 NTU. In conclusion, the study revealed different parasites in fresh water fish of Lake Baringo which constitutes a major threat to fish productivity. In addition, the water quality in Lake has abnormally high turbidity which may have increased because of high rates of sedimentation resulting from increased soil erosion in the catchment. It is recommended that landed fish from Lake Baringo should be properly cooked to avoid ingestion of parasites by fish consumers. Furthermore, proper lake management system should be put in place to conserve this important ecosystem.
- MST-Zoological Sciences