Nile Perch

Latin name: Lates niloticus

Common names: Lake Victoria Perch, Victoria Perch

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Wild Caught

Imported, Kenya, Tanzania, Uganda

Key Facts

  • Nile perch is a species of freshwater fish that was introduced into Lake Victoria in East Africa in the 1950s. The carnivorous fish is responsible for extinctions of endemic fish.
  • It is likely that current fishing pressure on Nile perch is causing population reduction, which is an ecologically positive result for the ecosystem of Lake Victoria.

More information

  • Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda (Approx. 25,000t per year. Import documents do not record how much is imported into Australia)

Nile perch is an invasive freshwater species of fish that was deliberately introduced to Lake Victoria in East Africa in the 1950s. The introduction was an ecological disaster for native fish, as Nile perch are carnivorous fish that have decimated populations of prey species and led to extinctions of species of fish that were endemic to Lake Victoria.

A large fishing industry developed around targeted Nile perch fishing, followed by a strong export industry. Demand for the fish has led to stock depletion, to the point where the species is possibly overfished in Lake Victoria. Removal of this invasive species to the point where the population is reduced is an ecologically positive action.