The report on the status of invasive alien species pointed that the spread of water hyacinth (Pontederia crassipes) in Lake Victoria has affected the population of tilapia fish.
About Tilapia fish:
- It is a common name used for certain species of fishes belonging to the family Cichlidae (order Perciformes), represented by numerous, mostly freshwater species native to Africa.
- It has emerged to be one of the most productive and internationally traded food fish in the world.
- The culture of tilapia has become commercially popular in many parts of the world and the fishery experts have dubbed the tilapia as “aquatic chicken” due to its quick growth and low maintenance cultivation.
What is Water hyacinth?
- It (Pontederia crassipes, also referred to as Eichhornia crassipes) is one of the most invasive weed species in the world.
- It is causing significant adverse economic and ecological impacts, particularly in tropical and sub-tropical regions.
- This is not an indigenous species but was introduced to India during the British colonial rule as an ornamental aquatic plant from South America.
Key facts about Lake Victoria
- It is the world’s second-largest freshwater lake.
- Location: It is located in East Africa, bordered by Tanzania, Uganda, and Kenya.
- It is also called Victoria Nyanza in Kenya, Nalubaale in Uganda, and Ukerewe in Tanzania.
- It is a source of the White Nile River which flows northward and eventually joins the Blue Nile in Sudan to form the Nile River.
Q1) What is an invasive species?
These are non-native species (plants, animals, microbes, or other organisms) that are introduced into a new ecosystem or habitat and have the potential to cause harm to the environment, economy, or human health. These species can outcompete native species, disrupt ecosystem functions, and lead to ecological imbalances.