Facts P1 Introductory Paragraph 1. Daily around Lake Victoria before NP a. No refrigeration: dry fish they catch with nets 2. Family catches fish 2”-4” in length a. They had to catch 100’s a day b. NP too big to catch in nets c. Oldest son works for fishery 3. Lake V. is second largest lake in the world a. NP up to 530 lbs. 7-13 lbs. b. Lake had cichlids in it as the native fish c. 300 different species of cichlids d. 99% were found only in LVictoria Facts P1 • 4Into.. Other fish catfish, carp and lung fish in lake a. 30 million people live around and rely on lake for food b. Net fish and dried them 5. Facts: 1950’s lake was overfished a. British govnm’t introduced the Nile perch b. Ecologists worried that the NP had no natural enemies and it would change the environment c. British G SECRETLY released the NP anyway Facts P1 6. 1960-70’s 100,000 metric tons of fish caught a. By 1989, 500,000 metric tons caught b. Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania have fish sold to other countries 7.NP cause 200 species of cichlids to become extinct a. Lungfish, catfish and carp populations have also declined 8.Because of cichlid decline algae grew too much. a. Algae used too much oxygen and other plants and animals could not survive b. “dead” zones in lake Facts P1 9. In 1979 only 16,000 fisherman a. In 1993 there were 82,300 fisherman b. People are now employed by the fisheries c.The people of the lake feel the NP was a “savior” 10. Lake is in jeopardy at this point. It is dying. a. NP are cannibalistic and eating their young Frames for Persuasive Writing Sali 72 Miracle Fish Protagonist • Before the Nile perch was released in Lake Victoria 13 million people were going hungry. • The government was thinking about hungry people when they released non-native fish into Lake Victoria. • Not only did James Abila’s family benefit from large fishing companies harvesting Nile perch, but the little fishing villages benefited from an increased food source. Frames for Persuasive Writing Sali 72 Miracle Fish Antagonist • The untested release of the non-native fish Nile perch will cause a great environmental disaster. • The government was not listening to the advice of the ecologists when they secretly and stealthily released Nile perch into the sanctuary niche of the native cichlid. • Scientists all over the world are alarmed at the release of a non-native, aggressive fish such as the Nile perch into the pristine waters of Lake Victoria. SALI 72 The Miracle Fish P1 • Pros for fish • 3 More fish, more people can eat • 2 Economy grew 5x • 1 Life style changed from poor fisherman to families who could afford to buy products • Cons against fish • 2 200/300 native cichlids went extinct • 3 Algae overgrew and used too much oxygen • 1 It gave the native people a false economy The government was not listening to the advice of the ecologists when they secretly and stealthily released Nile perch into the sanctuary niche of the native cichlid. The first consequence from the release of the Nile perch was to give area people a false sense of the economy. A second negative consequence to the lake was that native cichlids once numbering in the 300’s for different species, dwindled to only a surviving 100 species from the foraging Nile perch. The final blow to the lake was the devastating growth of algae. Prior to the release of the Nile perch 30 million people fished the water of Lake Victoria and fed their families. They were poor fisherman and barely survived. With the release of the Nile perch the fisherman no longer could catch fish with a net, but many of them got jobs in the fishing industry. The household’s economy suddenly blossomed. The ability to purchase items that formerly were not even dreamed became a reality. This gave the people a false sense of security. This economy did not last. The source of available fish started to decline as the Nile perch ran out of a food source themselves. Furthermore, the lake was negatively impacted with the release of non-native fish into its pristine waters. The waters had a uniqueness about them. The lake was the only lake in the world to support 300 different species of cichlids. Because of the secret British government introduction of the Nile perch, the environmental niche changed drastically. The Nile perch ate the cichlids. They ate them at an alarming rate destroying 200 species of them within a few years time. Regarding this secret release a devastating ecological nightmare was to begin. As the cichlid population declined and the Nile perch flourished, the lake’s ecosytsem was declining. Cichlids ate algae and with NO cichlids parts of the lake grew too much algae. Algae uses too much oxygen and the overgrown parts were dying. Other fish like lungfish, carp and catfish along with plants could not survive with low oxygen in the water. Nile perch were also running out of food to eat and became cannibalistic. The Nile perches’ population which was lucrative for the fisheries began to diminish. Even though there was communal devastation going on in the lake , there were positive attributes to the addition of the Nile perch to Lake Victoria. First of all there were 30 million people who lived around Lake Victoria and many of them were hungry. They were net fisherman and families who caught a daily catch of fish using a hand-made net. They caught the 2”-4” cichlids which they dried in the sun. Before the introduction of the Nile perch families were growing and food was getting scarcer. The Nile perch gave these families the ability to provide real food to their tables and gave their men work in the fisheries. The work also gave the families the ability to purchase modern appliances. This bliss did not last! Consequently because a government did not field test or listen to the ecologists who’s business it is to watchdog changes in the ecology of the Earth, Lake Victoria has now become an ecological disaster . The boom economy was false. Once the perch ate all the native cichlids it fed on itself and its own community dwindled. As soon as the Nile perch population started to decline the fisheries laid off workers and families found themselves back to netting and not eating. As the cichlid community lost more and more of their breeding ability and their numbers continued to decline the algae took over parts of the lake and a dead lake produces nothing or anyone but smell and decay. Lake Victoria is dying and it continues to die. The British government should have studied the lake and its very unique niche before any type of large predator was turned loose. It could have chosen different fish or it could have field-tested a small part of the lake several years before making the decision to act without considering the consequences. Disasters like this one can not ever be the same again. There is no going back. Going forward would be to try and control algae growth with introducing algae eaters and seeding the lake with fish for families and fisheries to eat and to turn profit. The world community needs to guard against rash behavior and not have governments act out for profit and have the end result being an environmental coup but devastating to local people. Facts P2 1. Poor fishing family of 5 a. Family dries fish (implies no refrigeration) 2. Family catches cichlids fish which 2”-4” (100’s) a. NP are too big to catch with net b. NP are the most common fish in the lake c. Older son works for fishery to feed his family 3. LV 2nd largest lake in the world. a. NP can get to be huge at 530 lbs. normally 7-13 lbs. b. 300 cichlids species found in the lake prior to NP c. Only 100 species remain d. 99% percent of the cichlids were found only in LV Facts P2 4. 30 million people live around LV and rely on it for food a. Most fish caught by net and dried prior to NP 5. By 1950’s LV was being overfished a. British governm’t decided to introduce NP b. Questions raised by ecologists because NP had no natural enemies c. SECRETLY added the NP anyway d. Provided more fish to eat and sell e. Economy boomed f. Kept adding NP per 1960’s Facts P2 6. 1960’S-1970’S 100,000 metric tons of fish caught in LV prior to NP a. 1989 500,000 metric tons of fish were caught counting NP b. Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania had enough extra fish could be sold to other countries c. 15 yrs. Of record keeping shows an constant increase of fish being harvested 7. 200 species of cichlid go extinct a. Other fish types decline also b. Ecologists are expecting disaster in making Facts P2 8. Since the extinction of the cichlids the lake is overgrowing with algae a. Algae uses too much oxygen b. Other plants and animals can not survive with low oxygen c. Parts of the lake have “dead” zones 9. In 1979 there were only 16,000 fisherman and by 1993 there were 82,300 fisherman a. Booming economy, life style changes b. Eating well 10. As the population of other fish decline the NP becomes cannibalistic. Disaster looms! SALI 72 The Miracle Fish P2 • Pros 1. Economy gets better 2. People get more food 3. People get jobs • Cons 1. Less native cichlids 2. Environment of lake decline 3. Inflated economy will collapse with the decline of NP Not only did James Abila’s family benefit from large fishing companies harvesting Nile perch, but the little fishing villages benefited from an increased food source. Suddenly people had paying jobs and could afford more luxury items, such as refrigeration. Another off shoot of positive change from the seeding of Nile perch into Lake Victoria there was a sudden growth of means for poor people. The economy grew fives time better and bigger. There was also plentiful food from these larger fish. Everyone benefited from the addition of Nile perch into Lake Victoria. The village people who number in the millions who live in the surrounding areas around Lake Victoria provided food for their families by net fishing. When the Nile perch was introduced villagers found themselves getting employment from the fisheries. Suddenly the villagers could move into the 21st century with the ability to have refrigeration to preserve their food. As a result of the of the population surge of Nile perch the local people found themselves gainfully employed with money to spare. They were able to move into the 21st century by having a refrigerator to preserve the fish they caught or bought. The local economy grew five times bigger and better. Subsequently income was not the only growth for the local people. Their tables were bountiful. Where there was once a few dried cichlids on the dinner table there were now large fillets of Nile perch. With full bellies people were joyful and brimming with hope and plans of a better tomorrow. Incidentally there is another story that is not so bright and shiny. Lake Victoria was a pristine lake that had a unique population of fish native only to this lake. Those tiny fish were 300 different species of cichlids. Unlike the behemoth Nile perch who range from 7-13 lbs., these fish range from 2”-4” and are caught by hand in nets. Local fisherman would catch 100’s of them at a time to make meals. They often sun-dried them to preserve them. Nile perch fed on these fish and the number of species went from 300 down to 100. The lake lost the ability to keep the algae under control. Cichlids eat algae. With the outgrowth of algae parts of the lake are now dead. In conclusion, the Nile perch release was a good decision by the British government. It was far-sighted and brought a struggling job market to its feet. The income from working at the fisheries provided families with the means to get better equipment, like refrigerators to keep their food fresh. Having access to larger fish fed more families. Families who were starving were eating and people were hopeful that this might be the end of struggling for life.