Title: A Knowledge Attitude and Practices (KAP) analysis of biosecurity and water quality effects in Nile Tilapia (oreochromis niloticus) cage aquaculture in Lake Victoria, Kenya

Final project
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Supervisors: David Benhaim , Amanda Vang
Knowledge Attitude and Practices (KAP); biosecurity; water quality; Nile tilapia; Lake Victoria; Kenya


As aquaculture intensifies, maintaining conducive conditions becomes a key priority. The expansion in farm number and per-farm production puts pressure on the environment and increases susceptibility of the cultured fish to disease, leading to production loss by the investors. This study was designed to investigate the combined role of biosecurity and adherence to best management practices by looking at the Knowledge Attitude and Practices (KAP) of the cage aquaculture farmers. Additionally, it looked at the effects of cage aquaculture on water quality and the link between KAP in biosecurity and water quality all in the context of promotion of fish health and prevention of fish kills in the cage aquaculture of Nile tilapia in Lake Victoria, Kenya. The study was undertaken in representative cage aquaculture systems in 3 riparian counties within Lake Victoria, Kenya both in the gulf and open waters. It made use of available literature, qualitative and quantitative data. A semi structured questionnaire was used to gather qualitative information on the KAP of biosecurity and Best Management Practices (BMPs) in the cage aquaculture farms while water quality data spanning a period of 9 months was used for the quantitative analysis. Results showed that the farmers had a positive attitude towards various biosecurity and BMP concepts and a moderate level of knowledge, but the practices on the farm were not in concurrence with both their attitudes and knowledge. The water quality parameters were not significantly different between the cage sites and control sites. However, there was better water quality in the open waters as compared to the gulf and sheltered areas and the seasons had an impact on the water quality parameters. A good aquaculture performance index score was noted in only 8% of the farms under investigation, while 24% had an average score and the majority (68%) had a poor score. Findings also showed that a good aquaculture performance index score was inversely related to ammonia levels. The study proposes the need for capacity building on the importance of adopting biosecurity and BMPs in the cage aquaculture of Nile tilapia in the lake for enhanced productivity and sustainability of the lake ecosystem.

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