Potential yield estimates of unexploited pelagic fish stocks in Lake Malawi

A B Thompson, Edward Allison

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18 Citations (Scopus)


The biomass of the offshore pelagic fish of Lake Malawi was estimated at 168 400 t and is currently unexploited by a fishery. This biomass comprises, by weight, 81% Cichlidae, 15% catfish and 4% Cyprinidae. A Beverton and Holt dynamic pool model was used to estimate potential sustainable yields and to forecast likely changes to the size and age structure of the fish populations under various levels of fishing effort. The total sustainable yield from the offshore fish population was estimated at 34 000 t yr-1 and, if harvested, would almost double the yield of fish from the lake. Potential yields on an areal basis are low (14.2 kg ha-1 yr-1), but are consistent with expectations from studies of pelagic ecosystem productivity.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)31-48
Number of pages18
JournalFisheries Management and Ecology
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - Feb 1997


  • Cichlidae
  • Engraulicypris sardella
  • Malawi
  • Pelagic
  • Virgin fishery
  • Yield

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