Wednesday, March 8, 2017

Social and Landscaping update at KIFI: 2016/17

KIFI staff with the KIFI staff shirts designed and payed for by staff. This  innitiative by Mr. F Jacobs helped to develop a KIFI identity and boost staff morale
KIFI staff meet every Monday and constantly engage with innitiatives to boost staff morale. The idea of Mr. Francois Jacobs (Acting Chief Fisheries Biologist) to design a KIFI shirt for KIFI staff was one such an innitiative. Landscaping and sport events (soccer and netball) are other examples of KIFI staff creating a condusive working environment. Staff members are competing to have the most beautiful gardens at their homes, while laborers, workhands and temporary labourers are constantly amazing management with expanding and upkeeping of the gardens at KIFI.

Another innitiative of the KIFI staff was a tree planting day on 17 February 2017 whereby about 30 fruit trees obtained from the Ministry of Agriculture in Divundu were planted by staff members in a special fruit garden at KIFI.

Job well done. Please keep it up...!!!

KIFI staff and field attachment stundents planting trees at KIFI on 17 February 2017

New landscaping at KIFI Gate and complex garden below

Mr. Jacobs  house on the right and above. Deon Tiyo's house on the left and below
Landscaping at Deon Tiyeho's house

Divisional headquarters, Mr. Burger's latest landscaping improvements above and below

New braai at Mr. Burger's house (private funds)

Landscaping improvement at the aquarium with messages and greetings in different languages painted on stones (above and below)

Monday, March 6, 2017

Research Update Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute: 2016/17

Ongoing floodplain research
The Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries (DoAIF) in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) in Namibia is spearheading several inland fisheries research innitiatives. Most notable was the development of the Standard Operating Procedure for Inland Fisheries Research by inland fisheries scientist of the DoAIF. A  word of thanks to Mr. Francois Jacobs from Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute (KIFI) who played a mojor role in the drafting of this SOP and also other staff members of the DoAIF that contributed with meaningful comments.  Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute is responsible for all inland fisheries research data and have recently captured, cleaned and archived biological survey data from 1992 up to 2017 for all the main river systems which includes the Zambezi, Kwando, Kavango and Kunene Rivers. This data plays an important role in determining trends of fish population dynamics in these rivers over time. Research data is crucial for management intervention to protect the biodiversity of our riverine systems and inland waterbodies. The DoAIF disseminate on an annual basis research findings to stakeholders of our inland fisheries resources. Stakeholder workshops ferment and digest research results and formulate resolutions  towards the sustainable management of the resource. To this effect the MFMR  announced through government notice in Gazette No 6197, three resource  management interventions namely;

1. Government notice No 296: "Prohibition of issuing of licences for monofilament nets to be used as regulated fishing gear"Inland Fisheries Resource Act, 2003
2Government notice No 297: "Declaration of Zambezi/Chobe River System as an inland fisheries reserve"Inland Fisheries Resource Act, 2003
3. Government notice No 298: "Declaration of Kasaya Channel in Impalila Conservancy as fisheries reserve"Inland Fisheries Resource Act, 2003

Mr. Richard Thinyemba a labourer at KIFI receiving his certificate at KIFI from the Deputy Director, Mr. Burger for the best research presentation at the Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Science Forum that was held at Hardap Dam during August 2016. He presented the findings of the floodplain research at KIFI during 2016

KIFI Inland Fisheries researchers, Mr. Fancois Jacobs, Ms, Naomi Lubala and Deon Tiyo busy entering and cleaning research data for archiving in the KIFI database
Inland fisheries biological research data  ready for archiving at  KIFI and other Inland fisheries centers

The DoAIF is currently engaged with six major and numerous smaller fisheries research studies. Our work relies on strong interdisciplinary relationships and academic collaborators include:
·         University of Namibia (UNAM)
·         Namibian University of Science and Technology (NUST)
·         University of KwaZulu-Natal (UKZN), South Africa
·         South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB)
·         Norwegian Institute for Nature Research (NINA)
·         National Commission on Research Science and Technology (NCRST)
One of the 5 articles published in a major fishing magazine
Major studies:
1.      The behavioural ecology of socio economic important fish species in the Kavango River.
2.      The importance of fish protected areas for sustainable utilization of fish resources (Documenting fish abundances in protected vs non protected areas)
3.      Monitoring fish production in floodplains
4.      Floodplain fish harvesting trends during the annual flooding period
5.      Monitoring fish trends and abundances in all the major river systems
6.      The effect of different stocking ratio’s on fingerling production from Oreochromis andersonii

Johan Burger (research assisting Sport fishermen) with a big female Tiger Fish (+6kg) shortly after tagging. Fish only momentarily lifted (3 seconds) for photo before release. This fish was tracked several hundred km's upstream from its release site in Mahangu Park
Pictures above: Monitoring of radio tagged fish by small plane along the entire lenght of Kavango River in Namibia
Some of the smaller studies currently running include:
1.     Tag retention and growth formulation of socio economic fish species found in the Kavango River
2.      Assessing the current status of local fisheries and fish marketithe OkavangRiver in Namibian
3.      The physical forming of floodplains
4.      Habitat preference of freshwater fish species in floodplains.
5.      Species composition during the annual flood pulse

    Small Aquaculture studies:

  •     Fry productionin Threespot Tilapia stocked in Hapas at Different Sex Ratios

Research notice displayed at lodges and main centers along the Kavango River

The following popular articles were published during  2016/2017:
  1. Jacobs, F.J. 2017. Keep fighting the good fight (New laws and regulations for the Zambezi River to ensure sustainable fisheries). The complete fly fisherman. 252: 6 pp.
  2. Jacobs, F.J. and Jacobs R. 2017. The fast and the Furious (Scientific proof on where and how to target tigerfish). Africa’s Original Flyfishing magazine. 30: 40-45 pp.
  3. Jacobs, F.J. 2016. Opgedroogte en lee damme: Wat word van ons visse? Republikein. 2 December: 8-9 pp.
  4. Jacobs, F.J. 2016. Even the skies are not safe (Tigerfish the ultimate predator). The complete fly fisherman. 249: 38-44 pp. 
  5. Jacobs, F.J. 2016. Reuse-navorsings projek oor varswater visse begin. Republikein. 8 June: 3 pp.
  6. Jacobs, F.J. 2016. Namibia takes pride in freshwater fisheries resources. Tight Lines. 678: 8-9 pp.
  7. Jacobs, F.J. 2016. Tagging tigerfish in the Kavango River. Africa’s Original Flyfishing magazine. 29: 156.

Inland fisheries research article above published by Mr. Francois Jacobs in the ever popular "Stywe Lyne" sportfishing magazine,below in the Flyfishing magazine and the Republikein 

Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries Scientific Conference contributions 2016
1.      Jacobs, F.J. 2016.  The behavioural ecology of Hydrocynus vittatus in the Kavango River. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Annual Science Forum: 16- 17 August 2016, Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre.
2.      Khaebeb H. and Jacobs F.J. 2016. The trends of fish populations in the Zambezi Rover over the past 5 years. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Annual Science Forum: 16- 17 August 2016, Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre.
3.      Libala, N., and Jacobs F.J. 2016. Preliminary findings of floodplain fish monitoring in the Kavango River, Kamutjonga. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Annual Science Forum: 16- 17 August 2016, Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre.
4.      Kombada. H. 2016. The effects of rearing units on the survival and growth rate of African catfish fingerlings during winter. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Annual Science Forum: 16- 17 August 2016, Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre.
5.      Burger. R.D. Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries in Namibia 2016. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Annual Science Forum: 16- 17 August 2016, Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre.
6.      Thinyemba, R and Jacobs, F.J. 2016. Preliminary findings of the annual floodplain harvest in the Kavango River, Namibia. Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources Annual Science Forum: 16- 17 August 2016, Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre. (AWARDED BEST PRESENTATION OF THE CONFERENCE)

Maintenance and Repair

Pictures above: Hippo dammage. Mr. Burger repairing the Hippo damage to his boat.

KIFI has a deep rural setting therefore staff service (wheel bearings+oils+plugs+impeller) their boats personnally to prevent delays in research as demonstrated by Mr. Burger  

Monday, February 27, 2017


Newly renovated Hardap Inland Aquaculture Center (HIAC) next to the Hardap Dam 
The newly renovated Hardap Inland Aquaculture Center (HIAC) in the Hardap Region was officially inaugurated by Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) minister, Honourable Bernhard Esau on Friday, 8 July 2016.

The occasion was attended by several dignitaries including;
His Excellency Mr Wu Wei, Charge D’Affaires at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Namibia. Counsellor Liu Huabo, Counsellor at the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China in Namibia. His Worship the Mayor of Mariental, Mr Willem Joseph Mensah. Dr Ahmadu Babagana, FAO Representative in Namibia. Mr Wang, Manager of SinoHydro Tiajin Co. Ltd. Mr Yin Dongie, Representative of Beijing Dayan Bihai Fisheries Institute of Plan and Design. Mr Tang Haitao, Representative of Beijing Xida Construction Company. The Acting Regional Officer of Mariental, Ms Teresia Basson. The CEO of Mariental, Mr Paul Ngwiwilepo. Local Authorities Councillors. Several Government Officials and members of  Media.
View of the climate controlled  Hatchery and Nursery Green-houses

The Director of Ceremonies, Dr. Moses Maurihungirire, Permanent Secretary (MFMR) facilitated the the smooth execution of proceedings. Honourable Governor of Hardap Region welcomed everybody to the inauguration.  Mr. Wang, from the Sinohydro Tiajin Co.Ltd who did the renovations gave detailed feedback of his company’s involvement in the renovation of HIAC. This was followed with remarks by His Excellency, Wu Wei the Ambassador of the People’s Republic of China.

The Keynote Address was delivered by Hon. Minister, Bernhard Esau of the MFMR. In his address Hon. Esau highlighted aquaculture development as one of the important priority areas under Vision 2030, identified because of its potential to contribute significantly to food self-sufficiency, poverty reduction, employment and revenue creation. By locating aquaculture facilities in rural areas, the Government aims to stimulate local economies and increase fish consumption nationally.

Hon. Esau further emphasised that the MFMR is committed to constructing aquaculture infrastructure in various Regions of our country of which the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre in the Hardap Region is one such structure.
HIAC staff members in front of the main office block
The Ground-breaking Ceremony which marked the commencement of the work at HIAC took place on 24 November 2014. Hon. Esau then gave a brief background of the project as follow: 
“Seven years ago, at the beginning of 2009, the Government of the Peoples Republic of China and the Republic of Namibia signed an Economic and Technical Agreement, facilitated through the National Planning Commission, in which the Government of China agreed to provide the Government of Namibia with a grant of RMB Yuan 50 Million, equivalent to N$ 65 Million.
RMB Yuan 15 Million of this grant was allocated to the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources at the time.  At the current exchange rate, this translates to about N$35 million.
Following this allocation, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources agreed that these funds be utilized to upgrade the existing aquaculture facilities at Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre in the Hardap Region.
In November 2010, through an Exchange of Letters, the Chinese Government agreed to send a team of experts to Namibia to carry out a feasibility study on the upgrading of facilities at the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre.  The team of experts arrived in Namibia in April 2011 and carried out a feasibility study over a period of ten days.  Following this study, meetings were held between the Ministry and the experts and Agreed Minutes were signed, stipulating clearly what was expected from both sides.
In April 2012, the Vice Prime Minister of the Peoples Republic of China, Hi Excellency Mr Hui Lianyu visited Namibia and Exchange Letters were signed again by the two sides in which they agreed, among other matters, that the Chinese Government will implement the Hardap Inland Aquaculture Centre Project.  At the beginning of September 2012, the Ministry received an invitation from the Chinese Government to send a team to China to look at the designs before the implementation of this project.
Following this visit which was led by my Permanent Secretary at the time, Ms Ulitala Hiveluah, the Chinese Government then contracted a company, Synohydro Tiajin Co. Ltd, to carry out the upgrading at the Centre.  A contract between this Company and the Ministry was eventually signed on 29th August 2014 and work commenced shortly thereafter.” 
Upgrading of facilities at the Centre included the following:
Construction of a new integrated processing workshop and a new cold storage building;
Renovation of open marketable-size fish ponds;
Construction of 2 marketable-size fish production ponds; and
Construction of big size fingerling production ponds.
One of the production ponds constructed
Because of the dedicated and strict work ethics of the Contractor, Sinohydro Tiajin Co. Ltd, the renovation took just over a year to complete.
Hon. Esau also mentioned that the upgraded design of the facility took into account the extreme winters of this Region by covering the ponds with special plastic which create a greenhouse effect, ensuring climate control that mitigates against extreme temperature fluctuations.  The climate control will make it possible for fish to spawn throughout the year, even during the extremes of cold winter or hot summer. In addition, brood-stock collection from the dam, breeding and management at the Centre already started in 2014 with the breeding and selection of new brood-stock as off-springs of the wild stock. Fingerling production on the other hand started from October 2015. Fingerlings will be stocked in the new fish production ponds and grown to marketable sizes.
The current grow-out period of the tilapia which is used for the fish production is 10 to 12 months, although there is ongoing research and trials to minimise the grow-out period and to save costs.
The new facilities (newly re-furbished hatchery) will also be able to produce a minimum of 31,000 fingerlings per month, which will be used to fill up the Centre ponds and also for sale to local fish farmers. The marketable-size fish produced will be processed at the Centre in our newly-built fish processing plant. It is envisaged that we will be able to sell fish in various forms (gutted with scales, gutted without scales and filleted) to the public. These newly constructed processing facilities were designed to comply with HACCP certification conditions, which is essential to meet EU export requirements.
New Procesing facility at HIAC
Hon. Esau further used the opportunity to request, through the Charge D’Affaires, for a favourable consideration of the Ministry’s Concept Note on the Development of Aquaculture Infrastructure in Namibia, which was forwarded to the Embassy of the Peoples Republic of China, through the National Planning Commission, under the Africa - China Relations Grant.

Friday, February 17, 2017


Headmen Muhero of Kamutjonga Village welcoming all participants to Kamutjonga for this important fisheries stakeholder meeting hosted by Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute
Mr. Johannes Hamukwaya, Chief Fisheries Biologist of MFMR Rundu regional Office and facilitator of the meeting highligting the objectives of the Fisheries Stakeholder Forum 
This unique Fisheries Stakeholder Forum took place from 12 to 13 May 2016 and was the first of its kind for the Kavango River in Namibia. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR), Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries (DoAIF) has long since realised the importance of disseminating fisheries research data and trends of the Kavango River fishery to stakeholders of the Kavango West and East Regions. Mr. Johannes Hamukwaya, Chief Fisheries Biologist of the MFMR Rundu Regional Office was appointed as chairperson of the organising committee. He was assisted by Fisheries Biologist from Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute and Katima Regional office. Fisheries Inspectors from the Directorate Operations stationed at Rundu also assisted.  Mr. Denis Tweddle and Geraldine Taylor of the Namibia Nature Foundation (NNF) assisted on behalf of the EU Project: "Community Conservation Fisheries in KAZA" with facilitation and logistics.  We are very grateful for this support. Thank you very much. It is sincerely appreciated.

The most notable stakeholders included the Traditional Authorities (Headmen and Village Traditional Council Chairpersons) directly impacted by this fishery. Other stakeholders invited included Kavango (East and West) Regional Council, Ministry of Lands, Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry, Ministry of Health and Social Services, Namibia Police, Conservancies and Lodges on the Kavango River. 

Agenda available at:

The Stakeholder Forum was opened by Mr. R. Burger the Deputy Director of Inland Fisheries at the MFMR. Headmen Muhero of the Kamutjonga Village welcomed all participants to Kamutjonga. Proceedings of the forum were facilitated by different staff members of the MFMR in Kavango East and West Regions as well as Katima Mulilo regional office. Mr. Burger gave a short overview of the activities of the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries, where after Mr. D. Tweddle of the NNF highlighted the importance of fishery resource management in his presentation. The Traditional Authority presented the importance of traditional fishery on behalf of Hompa Kaundu. It was evident from this presentation and discussions that the Traditional Authority in Kavango was not happy with illegal fishing methods most notably drag netting that led to a drastical reduction of fish populations in the Kavango River (Namibia). Mr. Mark Paxston on behalf of the tourism industry (lodges) echoed the concerns of the Traditional Authority with regard to illegal fishing methods that led to the destruction of the Kavango fishery. Mr. Paxton was also concerned about the lack of proper law enforcement to address the problem. 
Mr. Denis Tweddle of the NNF with his presentation "the need for co-management of the Okavango River"
Mr. Tweddle on actions needed to stop the collapse of the Okavango River (click on image for better view)

During the afternoon session Mr. Godfrey Sitengu gave a very insightful presentation on the findings of inland fisheries research on the Kavango River from the early 1990's to 2015. It was evident from the presentation that the resource is under severe pressure. Mr. R. Upingasana, Fisheries Inspector from Rundu office followed with a presentation on the Inland Fisheries Act, regulations and the roles of Fisheries Inspectors. These presentations were followed by very active discussions.
Geraldine Taylor explaing her groups input during the plenary discussion
Mr. Francois Jacobs giving feedback on his groups work during the plenary session

Day 2 of the forum concentrated on group work where several issues pertaining to inland fisheries were discussed and presented at plenary sessions. Inputs from these discussions are being disseminated by the MFMR and NNF in order to come up with possible solutions in terms of bilateral/multilateral co-management issues, creation of possible protected areas with local community management and legislative inputs to better manage the resource. The MFMR gazetted the banning of monofilament nets in Gazete No 6197 of 15 December 2016, Gazette Notice No 296 (prohibition on the issuing of licences for monofilament nets to be used as regulated fishing gear: Inland Fisheries ResourceAct, 2003) based on research findings and inputs from this stakeholder meeting. The gazetted protected areas with community management at Sikunga and Impalila Conservancies in the Zambezi Region was a big inspiration and an example that Traditional Authorities in the Kavango East and West Regions want to emulate. Project support to this extend is eagerly encouraged.  We are looking forward to work closely with stakeholders and NGO's to succeed in the overall participatory sustainable management of our inheritance the Mighty Kavango/Okavango River.

A word of appreciation to the organising committee (Mr. Gosbert Hamutenya, Mr. Richard Upingasana, Mr. Denis Tweddle [NNF], Mr. Erastus Mupiri, Ms. Emily Nambinga, Mr. Francois Jacobs, Mr. Godfrey Sitengu) under the leadership of Mr. Johannes Hamukwaya who did a great job and hosted a very successful event.

The Kavango Stakeholder Forum will become an annual event at Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute. The MFMR is encouraging support for 2017 Kavango Stakeholder Forum.

Monday, October 31, 2016


Members of the Freshwater Fishery Research Center of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Science with KIFI and Rundu Inland Fisheries staff members at KIFI


A team from the Freshwater Fishery Research Center  (FFRC) of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Science located in Wuxi, China visited Namibia from 25 October to 28 November 2013 as part of their Programme on Technical Cooperation and Consultation of Aquaculture in Namibia. The team consisted out of Associate Prof. He Jie, Deputy Chief/Prof. He Yijin, Deputy Chief of Training, Jing Xiaojun and Project Officer of Training, Zhang Lin. Since then there has been very good cooperation between the Chinese Academy of Fishery Science located in Wuxi and the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia. Read more about this innitial visit at:
A team from the Freshwater Fishery Research Center  (FFRC) of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Science located in Wuxi, during their visit to KIFI  during November 2013

The Freshwater Fishery Research Center  (FFRC) of the Chinese Academy of Fishery Science located in Wuxi, China once again organised a seminar for aquaculture training during July and August 2016. It  was attended by 51 delegates from 17 English speaking developing countries, specifically Myanmar (3), Cambodia (8), Papua New Guinea (3), Tonga (2), Panama (2), Uzbekistan (5), Palestine (2), Iran (1), Zanzibar (2), Zimbabwe (1), Sudan (2), Namibia (5), Ghana (5), Kenya (2), Mauritius (1), South Africa (2), Sierra Leone (4), Mexico (1). In order to share experiences and new better aquaculture practices. All travelling and accommodation expenses while in China where paid by the Ministry of Commerce of the Peoples Republic of China. The Namibian delegates are very grateful and appreciative for the opportunity provided.

The Namibian delegation consited out of 5 staffmembers from the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries namely; Ms L. Shilombwelwa, Mr H. Mataya, Mr O. Ndikwetepo, Mr J. Ndeliimona, Mr P. Simasiku,


The seminar was meticulously planned with most possible considerations in order to achieve the best possible outputs. From flight arrangements, airport assistance, accommodation, medical assistance, interpreters, assigned assistances including afterhours, tours to historical sites and cities, aquaculture field visits, seminar materials etc. this made our stay memorable, we enjoyed our stay in china and its peoples hospitality. We will not forget the beautiful scenery of both cities, country sides and including the first world infrastructure.

Context and objectives
The aim of the seminar was to bring together a diverse group of personnel in aquaculture to share experiences, ideas, achievements and further discuss challenges encountered and solutionadopted  and jointly  make  contributions  to aquaculture  and fisheries development in each country. The seminar covered subjects (issue) which are relevant for the development of aquaculture and fisheries in general in our respective developing countries with emphasis on advanced management concepts and development modes related to aquaculture practices and extension systems. Mainly sharing in the context of the experience of China which have achieved unparalleled production results over the years in the world.

Most lecturers where well experienced and had a good understanding of most of our countries challenges and could contextualise the issues for the benefits of most participants. It is our view that most participants where very satisfied with the manner in which the seminar was conducted. Considering the feedback which was provided at the end of the seminar. Its therefore our conclusion that the objective of the seminar was achieved. Most participants have gained better understanding and knowledge on the new better aquaculture practices. We will better apply our minds on day to day activities while doing our work. Specific topics covered entails:
Ø   Development strategy and policy of China‘s aquaculture

Ø   Aquaculture Extension Systems Construction and Management

Ø   Aqua feed research progress and industry Development

Ø   Development of Fishery cooperatives in China

Ø   Good aquaculture practices

Ø   Fishery Eco-environment conservation

Ø   Quality & Safety control of Aquatic products

Ø   Fishery Stocking Enhancement and Management

Ø   Community Based Aquaculture Development and Management


We are once again sincerely thankful to the people’s republic of china for the opportunity to participate in this seminar. Looking forward to a good mutual working relationship with the network of friends we have established while in China. What we have learned (experienced) shall be shared with everyone at our workplaces for the common benefit of both our people. The Namibian delegation have now become envoys of our long friendship between our countries. We once again concur with the African saying which was shared during the closing ceremony by the Director of liaison office of human resource development of academy for international business officials, ministry of commerce; Dr Xu Kai if you want to go fast, go alone. But if you want to far, go together….Xie Xie!