Thursday, July 30, 2015

Study Opportunity: Masters in Fisheries Science: Wuxi China

WUXI and KIFI staff during their visit in 2013

How are you doing?

This is Eileen from  FFRC, i.e. Wuxi fisheries college of Nanjing agricultural university (WFC). 

We paid a visit there in 2013 if you still remember. (read more about this visit at:

Eileen (Zhang Lin) with KIFI staff members

In September this year, we are going to organize this two-year international education 
program---2015-2017 Professional Master's Program in Fishery Science for developing 
countries, which is fully supported by Ministry of Commerce(MofCOM) and granted by 
Ministry of Education of China;

  I'm writing in the wish that you could help to spread this information to those who are 
interested and qualified, so they could apply through Chinese Embassy there.
Those who apply successfully will get the full scholarship plus a round-ticket for 
coming and returning offered by the Ministry. So it's really a good opportunity.

Besides,  another two seminars are going to be held in our center (download below) 

Potential candidates may also be recommended to ECC through your government, 
or if not possible, to us directly.

Thank you very much for your support and effort; any question, please let me know.

Full details of the description about this program and the application form can be downloaded at: 

张霖 ZHANG Lin
Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, CAFS
East Shanshui Rd., Wuxi, China
TEL +86 510 85555796
Mobile+86 13921186180

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Vietnam Aquaculture Training on Feed Formulation and Reproduction of Tilapia: May - July 2015

The Research Institute for Aquaculture close to Hanoi, Vietnam

Marine brood stock centre at Cat Ba
More photos available 


Video available at: uploaded soon...!!!

Vietnam is a water rich narrow country of more than 300 000 square km stretching over 2000 km from the sub-tropical north to the tropical south with a population of just over 90 million people. In the north it shares a  border with China and to the west with Laos and Cambodia. The country is blessed with an average precipitation of over 2000 mm of rain per year. Water can be found everywhere. Rice production and fish farming is a culture in Vietnam. The country has one million hectares under aquaculture and produce more than 5 million tons of fish per annum of which about 2 million ton (mostly catfish) is exported. Vietnam is the 4th biggest aquaculture producer in the world with more than 3 million people permanently involved with aquaculture. The production potential for catfish on one hectare is 300-600 tons per annum. The tropical south of Vietnam is suitable for grow-out throughout the year with optimum water temperatures. The north of Vietnam has a colder winter and therefore shorter growing period for fish.

15 Staff members from the Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries (DoAIF) in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) were so very fortunate to be supported by the Africa Development Bank to participate in a comprehensive aquaculture training course at the Research Institute for Aquaculture No1 (RIA No1) in the Buchning Province of Vietnam close to the capital Hanoi.
Paradise Hotel in Tu Son, accommodated both groups during their stay

The participants were divided into two groups. Group 1 (8 staff members) headed by Dr. Moses Maurihungirire (Director: DoAIF) with 8 participants attended the first leg of the one month training course from May to June 2015. Group 2 (7 staff members) headed by Mr. RD Burger (Deputy Director: DoAIF Northern Division) attended the 2nd leg of the course from 19 June to 20 July 2015. 

The  Training Programme covered several topics on feed formulation and reproduction of tilapia and catfish followed by practical field work sessions. The training material can be downloaded at:

The training course included several visits to private fish farms, feed factory and brood stock centres. Enough time was allocated for participants to familiarise themselves with the Vietnamese culture and food. The 2 day trip to Cat Ba, a world heritage site, was amazing. 

The way forward for Aquaculture in Namibia from this training course:

  • Land for aquaculture production close to permanent water bodies needed for investors
  • Private investment in terms of feed production
  • Genetic potential of brood stock  need to improve in order to produce certified seed
  • Replacement of tilapia brood stock at least every 3 years
  • Improved feed quality, feed conversion and growth through extrusion of feed 
  • Use of all male tilapia fingerlings for grow-out (approval needed to use male hormone)
  • Induced breeding of catfish to improve
  • Management programmes for fish farms need to be implemented
  • Water quality and fish health monitoring to be a priority
  • Aquatic Biosecurity Strategy and compliance mechanism to be developed for Namibia

Namibian participants of group 2 with the RAI 1 Director and lecturers
Special word of appreciation to Mr. Mai Van Thai and his wife, Queen for the extraordinary care that they took of the MFMR staff during their stay in Vietnam. Thank you very much

Mr. Mai Van Thai and his wife, Queen taking special care of the MFMR staff

Sunday, April 12, 2015

Progress at Onavivi on the SSC Programme: January - March 2015






The Onavivi IAC is one of the largest Government centres, for fish breeding, fingerling distribution and feed production in the Northwest region of Namibia. The centre is currently carrying out three experiments, under the SSC project activities. These experiments   are Genetic selection, sex reversal and fish feed validation. The aim of the report is to highlight briefly on what has happened on each activities during the period mentioned above.

    1.      Sex reversal

The objective experiment is to identify the effective levels of hormone treated feed that will results in the production of 98% mono sex fish.  The experiment started with the conditioning of Broodstock, mating, egg collection, incubation, and nursing.   The experiment is being carried both indoor and outdoor conditions. The figures bellow illustrates the materials and methods used for the sex reversal experiment.
Preparing the pond for cages:
The pond was dried and poles where set in for anchoring the cages.

Figure 1. Pond preparation to set in cages for Broodstock conditions and matting
Figure 2. Cages set with Broodstock condoning and mating (ratio 3:1)

Figure3:  Egg collection
When the eggs are collected, they are sorted into different stages of development.  The eggs are then transferred to the incubators into the hatchery, as illustrated in the in the figure below.  

Figure 4:  Eggs collected and sorted in different stages of development
Figure 5: Incubation at Onavivi hatchery
Figure 6: Nursery stage, sex reversal indoor experiment, Onavivi IAC
Figure 7.  Nursery cages, sex reversal outdoor experiment, Onavivi IAC
Figure 8. Sampling the outdoor experiment, Onavivi IAC

        2. Genetic selection

The objective of the Genetic selection is to enhance the production of quality seeds but the use of different fish strains of Oreochromis andersonii. The three strains are from Kavango, Omusati (Cuvelai system) and Zambezi regions and are all under conditioning stage at Onavivi IAC. There after the mating will start, egg collection, incubation and then nursery. The pictures below shows the cages where the different strains of Oreochromis  anderstonii are being conditioned.

Figure 9.  Cages where the three strains are being conditioned

3. Feed validation

The aim of the experiment is to validate the quality of imported floating feed and the locally produced sinking feed with respect to the growth of Oreochromis andersonii, both at fingerling stages until they reach the marketable size. The experiment will be conducted in indoor and outdoor conditions. The mono sex fingerlings for the feed validation are so far being collected and conditioned.  Although there is a challenge of getting the required quantity and size of mono sex fish, the process is slow, but progressing.

 Indoor experiment
A diet of  42%CP  for  both floating and sinking are used in the plastic tanks, to assess the growth performance of three spot tilapia under plastic tanks, as illustrated below.

Figure 10.  Plastic tanks used for the feed validation experiment
Outdoor experiment
To assess the growth performance of three spot tilapia, until it reaches market size, cage culture is used as means of culture system.   A diet of 32%CP for both floating and sinking will be used. The diagram below shows the cages set in the cage platform at Onavivi reservoir.

Figure 11. Cage platform set in the Onavivi Reservoir for feed validation

                      Figure 12. Cages set in the Onavivi  reservoir for feed validation
Under the South South Cooperation project several equipment has been acquired with the aim to analyse the nutritional composition of the feed.  However due to the limited space (laboratory) where the equipment needs to be installed to be used for analysis was not possible. As a result the feed samples were sent to the local laboratory for analysis.  The laboratory is not suitable, as it is too small and does not have all the required platforms to install the equipment.  However, the Directorate of Aquaculture will see to it, if the budget allocation for 2015/2016 can assist in releasing funds for the renovation of the laboratory at Onavivi IAC. The picture, below show the layout of the current small laboratory with the acquired equipment.

Monday, April 6, 2015

KIFI Bridge Damaged by Seasonal Flood: March-April 2015

Damage visible to the KIFI floodplain bridge
Damage clearly visible to the rear section of the floodplain bridge at KIFI after the first pulse of the seasonal flood at the beginning of March 2015. This section of the bridge was not raised high enough and re-enforced with sement on the slope sides. This caused flood water to eat away the sides during flooding.

The level of water is rising again and will inundate the bridge again this week, the second week of April 2015. If the damage increase staff members will not be able to reach the boat launch or the pump station. 
First pulse of the seasonal flood inandating the bridge at the beginning of March 2015

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

Meetings & Events: February and March 2015

1. Third Quarterly Management Meeting: Directorate of Aquaculture and Inland Fisheries: Otjiwarongo, 2-5 February 2015

2. Administrative Management Meeting: Windhoek: 10 February 2015

3. Staff Meeting KIFI: 16 February 2015

4. Meeting with Headmen Muhero from Kamutjonga Village: 16 February 2015

Mr. Burger with Headmen Muhero from Kamutjonga Village
Headmen Muhero visited KIFI on Monday, 16 February 2015 to discuss issues effecting KIFI and the Kamutjonga village under the Hambukusu Tribal Authority. The meeting was attended by Headmen Muhero, his Secretary, Mr. Edward and several of his council members.  Mr. Burger (Deputy Director: KIFI), Mr. Sitengu (Chief Fisheries Biologist: KIFI) and Mr. Titus represented KIFI. Ms. Sakana a Ranger from Mahangu Game Park attended on behalf of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism. Sergeant Shanombe attended on behalf of the Namibian Police at KIFI. 

Matters arising from the previous meeting that was held on 21 February 2014 were discussed.Several new issues were added to the agenda for the meeting. The minutes of the meeting is available on request.

5. Poisons Workshop: Poppa Falls: 17-19 February 2015

6. Senior Management Meeting MAWF: 23 February 2015

7. Aquaculture Permit Stakeholder Meeting: Windhoek 26 February 2015

8. Minister's Staff Address: Windhoek 25 February 2015

11. Cooperative Advisory Board Policy Review Workshop: Windhoek ,11-13 March 2015

Honourable John Mutorwa, Minister of  the MAWF officially opening the CAB Policy Review Workshop
One of the major proposals discussed during this workshop was the creation of an Agency to deal with Cooperative issues

12. Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF) Sectoral Review and Planning         Workshop:Windhoek 24-27 March 2015

The review of MAWF’s ASEP took place in Windhoek from 24 March 2015 to 27 March 2015.  The ASEP contains desired outcomes and strategic initiatives to be pursued through various programmes and projects to ensure the successful implementation of the Fourth National Development Plan (NDP4).
Stakeholders to this sector was well represented and actively promoted the inclusion of four projects in the ASEP, namely the implementation of the rangeland management policy and strategy (five pillars for agriculture and one pillar for forestry), the common vision for the livestock and meat industry, as well as subsidised loans for debushing through Agribank.

MAWF staff and stakeholders attending the workshop

13. World Wetlands Day Celebrations: KIFI 25-26 March 2015

Tuesday, March 31, 2015

Joint Fish Biodiversity Surveys- Highlights From The Okavango Delta Low Water Survey: December 2014

Joint Fish Biodiversity Surveys- Highlights from the

Okavango Delta Low Water Survey 
Maun, Botswana 
December 2014

Full report available on request


The formation and general mandates of the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC) between Botswana and Namibia has been reported in previous reports. However, in summary a Trans-boundary Fisheries Management Plan for the Okavango/Kavango/Cubango Basin was formulated under the auspices of the Joint Permanent Commission of Cooperation (JPCC) between Botswana and Namibia, and this serves as a guiding framework and created a platform for establishing a joint fisheries monitoring system for the two countries. The SAREP programme based in Maun, Botswana coordinated and funded meetings that saw the development of the fisheries management plan. The monitoring system is essential for providing a framework for collaborative research and enhances the scientific knowledge base that will direct conservation initiatives and ensure the sustainable use of the fisheries resources of the shared water course. 

       Brief background on joint fish biodiversity surveys 

One of the key activities listed in the management plan and presently ongoing is the joint fish biodiversity surveys. It was planned that two fish biodiversity surveys be conducted in 2014 (during low and high water period). In Namibia the first survey was conducted from the 6th to 19th May 2014 (high water) and the second was conducted between 6-18 October 2014 (low water) while in Botswana the first survey was conducted between June 23 and July 6, 2014 (high water) and the second was conducted between 26 October and 5 November, 2014 (low water). The scope of this report is however limited to the low water Okavango delta fish biodiversity survey.

Survey overall objective                                                          

The main objectives of joint surveys are to standardise fisheries research methods and develop a long term transboundary fisheries database that will facilitate the development of sound and scientific information-driven fisheries management strategies for the Cubango/Kavango/Okavango basin.    

The study area

Description of the Okavango delta

The Okavango delta comprises of a mosaic of permanent marshlands that are interconnected with permanent streams, lagoons, permanent moderate to densely vegetated floodplains, seasonal floodplains and salt islands. Structurally, the delta has two parts; the floodplain system below Popa Falls represents the beginning of the panhandle which becomes progressively more pronounced as the river enters into Botswana while the other part is the delta proper with wide permanent swamp land. 

The Okavango/Kavango/Cubango River altitude is approximately 1100m upon entering Namibia and 1000m when leaving Namibia into Botswana. Therefore, generally the regional terrain is gently undulating with less than 2 m gradient within the Okavango delta. The low topographic gradient of the delta results in low flow velocities with most water flow occurring in streams and partially in vegetated floodplains. Therefore, the flow velocities of the entire system are lowest in the Okavango delta. Also, the flood wave arriving is markedly attenuated as the water spreads through the wider swamp area of the delta while the system in Namibia and Angola comprise of predominantly of narrow floodplains with 95% of the flow carried in the main river. The delta culminates in a dead end so most of the water is lost through evapotranspiration while a small proportion contributes to: ground water recharge, replenishing Lake Ngami water resources and contributing to the closed water balance of Mopipi dam in Orapa via the Boteti River.

Hydrology of the Cubango basin

The basin is home to the Okavango River and its major tributary Cuito River with a total basin area of 530 000 km2 spread along three countries. The magnitude of rainfall events are highly varied along the stretch of the Cubango basin with average annual rainfall gradually decreasing from 1000 mm from the head waters to approximately 500 mm at Rundu and 450 mm within the Okavango delta. The rainfall season in the basin is from November to April while the flood season extends up August in the furthest parts of the Okavango delta.

The water flow is contributed by rainfall events of approximately 1000 mm per year occurring in the upper catchments having a surface area of approximately 135 000 km2 that is situated within Angola. About 95% of the generated water flow is carried by river while the vast distance between the head waters to the Namibia stretch of the river and the delta ensures that a significant period passes between the occurrence of rainfall events in Angola and the arrival of the flood wave in Namibia and the Okavango delta.  

Sampling stations and setting types 
Click on image for better view

Snakes very active at KIFI with autum around the corner

 Puff Adder
Several snakes made their appearance at KIFI the last few weeks. Mr. Burger had to relocate two Mozambique Spitting Cobras that visited his house. He also encountered a 3.5m Black Mamba in a tree near his house last week. KIFI staff killed a massive Puff Adder (picture) and a Mosambique Spitting Cobra when they were cleaning around the workshop on Tuesday 31 March 2015.