Case-in-Point Analysis-Species Richness in Lake Victoria

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Case-In-Point Analysis

University of Phoenix


This essay focuses on the case-in-point titled “Species Richness in Lake Victoria” (Raven, Berg, & Hassenzahl, 2010, p.83). The essay discusses unintended consequences of humankind’s activities that have led to environmental problems in Lake Victoria. A discussion on whether scientific and technological activities are exacerbating or improving the existing situation is presented. Proper application of the scientific method and any alternative solutions beyond the method to help the problem is also included.

Lake Victoria is the second largest fresh-water lake in the world, and the chief economic and environmental asset for East Africa. Lake Victoria is considered one of the most species-diverse lakes in the world. Hundreds of species of native fish traditionally have been the main food source and livelihood for East Africans. However, the ecological health of the lake has been affected by a number of human activities, and the damage could be irreversible if the problem is not addressed.

The lake has seen a dramatic change over the last 50 years. More than half of the species of cichlids and other native fish in the lake have become extinct. Early in the 20th century, British colonials began to commercialize the lake. They also introduced more efficient fishing nets with smaller mesh sizes that decimated the adult breeding and young populations of native fish. The settlers decided to restock the lake with nonnative species of Nile tilapia and Nile perch. “Proponents of the introduction thought the successful establishment of the Nile perch would stimulate the local economy and help the fishermen” (Raven, Berg, & Hassenzahl, 2010, p.83). The Nile Perch was larger in height and weight than the local fish species, which made it quite marketable. The introduction of this predator did not seem to have a great impact on the biomass of the lake at the beginning. Native cichlid species still seemed to make up...