MultiTip: Multiple Tipping Points at Lake Victoria

MultiTip is an interdisciplinary research project

that studies ecological tipping points at Lake Victoria. 


The unsustainable use of a common-pool resource, like a fishery, may bring it to the brink of a systematic shift, i.e. a tipping point. Crossing this tipping point can imply significant socio-economic consequences.

Our research examines how  economic incentives, institutional instruments and stakeholders' perceptions and behavior affect sustainable management of the Nile perch fishery at Lake Victoria.

Lake Victoria is the world's second largest freshwater lake and is shared among 3 countries: Tanzania, Uganda and Kenya. It's Nile perch fishery is an important source of food and income to a growing riparian population of around 4 million (Mkumbo & Marshall, 2015). Therefore, crossing an ecological tipping point can significantly impact the livelihoods and protein availability for millions of people.



Nile Perch
Nile perch catch.

In MultiTip, we use a full-cycle, multi-methods approach via secondary data analysis, qualitative and quantitative methods, mathematical modelling and controlled experiments. The results of these methods are integrated through analytical and agent-based modeling for a better understanding of the complex socio-economic system (SES) of Lake Victoria. Additionally, the project is accompanied with a comprehensive communication strategy which ensures the dissemination of results to relevant stakeholders and policy recommendations to governing bodies. Moreover, the overall results are used to advance a conceptual and analytical toolbox that can be applied to settings that share common features with Lake Victoria, namely collective action, a renewable open-access resource and a SES under stress.



To read about our project design, click here.

To read about our findings and achievements, click here. 


The MultiTip Team


University of Heidelberg logo Unikassel logo Lvfo logo


Our interdisciplinary research team consists of social scientists, natural scientists and computational natural scientists  from Heidelberg University and University of Kassel. Local stakeholder participation is an important aspect of the project and thus, our team includes fisheries biologists from local organisations: the Lake Victoria Fisheries Organization (LVFO) and fisheries institutes of Kenya (KMFRI), Tanzania (TAFIRI) and Uganda (NaFIRRI). To ensure high-quality research, our scientific advisory board is made up of five world-leading experts in natural resource economics, social and decision sciences, aquatic ecology, applied system science and psychology.


To read about our researchers, partners and scientific advisory board, click here.




Sponsor logo

MultiTip is a four year project which started in April, 2019. It is a part of the larger research program "BioTip" (Tipping Points, Dynamics and Interdependencies of Social-ecological Systems) which is funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF).

For more information on BioTip, click here. 




Mkumbo, OC, & Marshall, BE (2015). The Nile perch fishery of Lake Victoria: Current status and management challenges. Fisheries Management and Ecology, 22(1), 56-63. doi:10.1111/fme.12084


Webpage Editor: E-Mail
Updated on: 20.01.2023
zum Seitenanfang/up