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Nile Perch

Quality mark Cultivation
/Keurmerk Wild
Second choice
Informatie over vissoort
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Perchids (Perciformes)  is by far the largest family of fishes and comprise more than 41% of all vertebrate fish. Perchids occur in either fresh and saltwater areas all over the world. Well-known perchids are seabass, dorado, mahi-mahi and weever.

Nile Perch

With a maximum length of 2 m and a maximum weight of 200 kgthe Nile perch is one of the largest freshwater fish in the world. This species has a grey/silver colour with a blue tinge and distinctive dark-black eyes with a bright-yellow outer ring. Nile perch is a predatory fish and can survive in most lakes. In 1962 Nile perch was introduced into Lake Victoria in Africa. This heavily disrupted the entire ecosystem with large social-economic consequences. 

Nile Perch

Lates niloticus

Africa, inland waters (FAO 1)

Farming- / Catch method

Hooks and lines, Gillnets

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Fish stocks and fishing pressure
Ecosystem effects
Fishery management
Final assessment
Explanation assessment

The Lake Victoria Nile perch was stated to be heavily overfished during the last decade. At present, biomass is steadily increasing and improving. However, current biomass increases almost only consist of juveniles, while there are clear signs of spawner overfishing. The fact that females get larger than males is making them extra vulnerable, because the females get caught more. The Nile perch fishery is managed by the Lake Victoria Fishing Organisation (LVFO).

The introduction of Nile perch in Lake Victoria has caused a big change in the ecosystem. Nile perch is a predatory fish and also eats its own species. Many local species are extinct due to the introduction of Nile perch. Some local species seem to recover due to the overfishing of Nile perch. Eutrophication, pollution and other human influences seem to currently have a bigger impact on the ecosystem in Lake Victoria than fishery. The catching methods are quite selective. The fish species that are bycatch are for the local market.

There is a fishery management plan for Lake Victoria and there are measures being taken to limit the fishery. The implementing and monitoring of the measures is however still a problem. There seems to be a change in this due to good initiatives from the region and from the fishermen. In the processing industry there is a high demand for a smaller sized fish, wherefore too much young fish gets caught. The fish is mainly exported. The local people profits a bit, but more and more from this fishery. Illegal fishery in forbidden areas and with smaller meshes and hooks is a problem.


ASC label

Fish with the ASC label is farmed in a sustainable manner.

MSC label

Fish with the MSC label is caught sustainably.

Good fish

This fish is not being overfished or is being responsibly farmed, with minimal impact on the environment.

Second choice

This fish is a second choice. There are still some improvements to be made in this fishery or fish farm.


Do not buy this fish. It's being overfished or the way it's farmed or caught has a negative impact on the environment.


There is fish available of this species that is farmed or caught using high welfare standards.


GlobalG.A.P. certified farms are doing a step in the right direction in terms of sustainability. A few species with this label are getting a better score on the VISwijzer.


Organic standards are the strictest when it comes to fish feed. They also require certain measures for animal well-being.