Fish telemetry in African inland waters and its use in management: a review.
Fish telemetry is a widely established technique in developed countries. However, in underdeveloped regions, its use is generally lacking. We briefly present common fish telemetry methods used globally and then reviewed their use in African inland freshwater ecosystems. We highlight telemetry studies' progress in African inland waters and evaluate its potential applications in various fields. These include the management of water resources, ecosystem response to changes, fish movement, river connectivity, conservation of species, management of fisheries, fish passages efficiency and monitoring freshwater ecosystems in Africa. We found 53 studies that used fish telemetry in inland African waters across eight countries. Radio telemetry (81%) was favoured over acoustic telemetry (11%), while the remaining studies included reviews and procedural tagging studies. Telemetry was used on 25 native fish species and two non-native species in Africa across various families and included two African native fishes studied in European laboratories. In Africa, the two most studied genera were Hydrocynus spp. (n = 19) and the Labeobarbus spp. (n = 19). Compared with developed countries, the paucity of African freshwater telemetry studies is of concern, especially as fish movement is important for water resource management decisions across Africa. Finally, we highlight the benefits derived from telemetry studies as outweighing the costs and can continue to provide evidence-based data to manage Africa's water resources.