Behold The Killer Fish Of Tanzania!
If you love to fish, this picture would be a dream come true: catching a fish a large as a human! Unfortunately, this is a “Nile Perch”, and it is devastating the largest lake in the world!
This 2004 documentary examines the devastating effect of fishing the Nile perch in Tanzania’s Lake Victoria. This predatory fish has wiped out native species, so the local starve while these fish are harvested to send to Europe!
Here is a short clip of these enormous fish being processed in a decrepit Tanzanian factory, including a short interview with the men who run it, pointing out they’ve never seen a fish like this before:
As you can see from this second poster, these fish are more than food – they are a very dangerous and bloody mix that impact the local politics as well.
You see, there is a LOT of money to be made – so this enormous lake can’t feed the local population – who struggle to survive…
The Nile perch was introduced to Lake Victoria 40 to 50 years ago, in a disastrous attempt to replenish the over fished waters that led to the extinction of hundreds of indigenous species. This oily-fleshed fish can grow over six feet long – and it has quickly preyed on smaller fish in the lake – “Darwin’s Nightmare”. In a 2001 report, the World Conservation Union called the Nile perch one of the planet’s 100 “worst invasive alien species.”
This ongoing ecological disaster is also a multimillion-dollar business, because Tanzania, which owns 49 percent of Lake Victoria, is the main exporter of perch to the European Union.
So this gorgeous, serene lake has the opportunity to feed a nation – just NOT an African nation. Instead, this massive slaughter of fish is for export only.
As you can see, Lake Victoria is HUGE – it’s the world’s largest freshwater lake…but none of these “monster fish” can be eaten by the local population, because they are just “too valuable” for that…
Hubert Sauper’s essential documentary isn’t perfectly done, but it is meant to make you angry – and expose an injustice – and on both counts, it delivers.
“Darwin’s Nightmare” was nominated for An Academy Award as Best Documentary of 2004.
Here is an update from National Geographic last year:
Let me know what you think about this thought-provoking documentary!
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