Report shows big losses of Victorian cichlids

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A new report suggests that only 56 species of haplochromine cichlid remain in Lake Victoria, following decades of ecological damage.

The Lake, which until recently held one of the world's richest lacustrine fish faunas, was well known for its incredible diversity of cichlid fishes. The exact number of cichlid species was never known, as many of the fishes were still awaiting scientific description.

A lecturer from the University Department of Fisheries told the East African Standard that there were 316 identified species, and around 28 new ones. However, the latest counts recorded just 56 species remaining.

The cause of the depletion is being blamed on Nile perch and the use of incorrect fishing gear. Water hyacinth has also caused problems in the lake by contributing to eutrophication.