The study was conducted between January and December, 2018. The objectives of the study were to assess fishing activities and the impact of fishing on the Nile tilapia fish species in Lake Hayq. A total of 198 fishermen selected randomly from Kebeles bordering Lake Hayq were used as respondents for structured questionnaires. In addition to this, 30 fish traders and 8 fish hotel owners specialized in fish dish were used as key informants. The average age of fishermen was around 36 which were in active force age group (< 65 years). Most (97%) of the fishermen used gillnets imported from Egypt with mesh size of 4-6 cm stretched mesh size < 8 cm which is the national standard. There are three commercially important fish species, common carp (Cyprinus carpio), Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus), and Catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Fishery of Lake Hayq is being used as source of livelihoods for about 2000 people living around the lake. Tehulederie, the largest district bordering the lake has established three months (May- July) as breeding seasons, however, the fishermen didn’t respect the regulation set by the district. As the result, the fishery production was being reduced highly since 2010. Especially, the most important fish species (Nile tilapia) has been overfished due to the illegal fishing activities. Therefore, fishery management tools such as mesh size regulation, closing season and ground and fishery regulatory systems enacted by the federal and regional governments should be implemented through application of community-based fishery management system.
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