Sunday, April 28, 2013

Feedback: Namibia Biosafety Awareness Workshop: 16 April 2013

Namibia Agriculture Union (NAU)

Extract from the NAU Weekly News letter: 19 April 2013 

The National Commission on Research, Science and Technology (NCRST) in collaboration with the Namibian Biotechnology Alliance (NABA) hosted a Namibia Biosafety Awareness Workshop on 16th April 2013 at Hilton Hotel.  The NCRST is responsible for the development and implementation of the Namibia Biosafety Framework. 

The objective of the Workshop was to inform relevant stakeholders and the public on issues related to Biosafety and the current status of the development of the Namibia Biosafety Framework. The workshop also invited responses from stakeholders in terms of the implementation of the Biosafety Framework and the way forward.  Mrs Rina Hough represented the NAU at this workshop. 

The Biosafety Act was promulgated in 2006 and provides inter alia for measures to regulate activities involving the research, development, production, marketing, transport, application and other uses of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and specified products derived from GMOs.

During the workshop, the NCRST reported that the procedures to establish the Namibia Biosafety Framework was well on track – the Regulations to the Act is in a final draft stage, the Board of Commissioners have been appointed and the invitation for members on the Biosafety Council have been published.  The burning question regarding the commencement date of the Biosafety Act, as well as the implementation date of the Regulations to the said Act, could however not be answered by the by the NCRST. 

Friday, April 26, 2013



Mr. Burger, the newly appointed Deputy Director for Inland Aquaculture met with the PS, Ms. Ulitala Hivelua of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources and other staff at the Windhoek office.

Ms. Huvelua has a passion for Inland Fisheries and  Inland Aquaculture. She is very proud of the achievements of the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources with regard to Inland Aquaculture. The establishment of Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute (KIFI) is an achievement that she is very proud of. She wants maintenance of these infrastructure to be a  high priority and it must be be reflected on the maintenance budget.

Communities and farmers involved with Inland fisheries must continue to benefit from demand driven research, training and outreach in the form of extension activities conducted at all the Inland Fisheries institutions. The reactivation of a multi stakeholder participatory scientific forum is needed to guide the direction of research in order to effectively deal with the production problems of the tilapia and catfish currently produced.  

She welcomed Mr. Burger to the fisheries family and expressed the hope that he will enjoy his stay at Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute

Helmi Kashenye, steering the admin ship: Directorate Aquaculture

Helmi Kashenye surrounded by paperwork as she steers the admin ship at Directorate Aquaculture 
You are greeted by a friendly face in the person of Helmi Kashenye if you have any business with the Directorate of Aquaculture in Windhoek. Helmi is the Private Secretary of the Director for Aquaculture, Dr. Moses Maurihungirire. 

She will make you feel at home and respond in a timely manner with a smile on her face to all your queries...!!! It was a pleasure to meet you...

Aquaculture Training at KIFI:

Participants of the training with Mirtin Tjipute from Unam presenting 
José María Martínez Lago, Project Coordinator,CIAC Aquaculture Project 

The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, through the Directorate of Aquaculture, is making concrete effort to improve the development of aquaculture. This is done through the provision of aquaculture facilities such as hatcheries and research stations directed at fingerling production and guided by industry-targeted research. 

Another intervention is the development of training courses in order to better equip the fish farmers as well as the personnel.   One such course is funded by the Spanish Cooperation for Development (AECID) and is managed by the Centro Tecnologico Del Mar (CETMAR) with the aim of assisting the Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) in training local Namibian community members and other stakeholders in all sectors of freshwater aquaculture development. Currently 6 (2 private and 4 cooperative) and 6 technicians from the Ministry of Fisheries & Marine Resources (Namibia) are receiving training on Aquaculture. The course' emphasis is hands-on practical experience.

The Department of Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences at the University of Namibia (UNAM) has been approached to develop and deliver a practical training course to achieve the above mentioned objective. 

The development of this teaching guide is aimed at imparting Good Aquaculture Practices to the identified stakeholders who want to engage in aquaculture. Upon completion of the Certificate of Competency in Aquaculture it is expected that the trainees will acquire the appropriate skills and techniques in aquaculture as well as good management of aquaculture enterprises. This in turn is envisaged to result in high yield of aquaculture production and a good income... 
Practical training: Students fixing a pond
Students busy with pond seining

Main pump at KIFI goes bust: KIFI without raw water

Mr. Dominic Mwanamwali (R) at the electric box of the main pump. 
The main pump of KIFI at the river stopped working on Friday, 19 April 2013. After closer inspection it was realised that the starter box was the cause of the problem. The Ministry of Works tested the system on the 24th of April. It came to the light that the soft starter in the electric box is not working. 

We hope that the MoW can resolve the problem asap...KIFI will try and incorporate a tandem system by installing an auxiliary pump with its own electric box. Let us hope there is money available to do this otherwise we will have the same problem in future...

There is currently no raw water supply for the aquaculture system at a result the  the screening and delifery of fingerlings is delayed

Predators on the sprawl: Tiger fish getting active

Little Dawid Burger from Kamutjonga with a small tiger fish
The Tiger Fish started biting in the Kavango as the water recedes from the flood plains. The next month might be good  for tigers and nembwe until the floodplains emptied and the water temps go down to below 18 degrees with the start of the winter.

Dawid managed to catch this small tiger (catch&release) in an eddy behind a sandbank close to KIFI on Saturday 20 April 2013. ...

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Title: Lake Liambezi bimonthly monitoring report for March 2013, Muyako area, Caprivi Region

Extract of Report
Full report available: Contact Mr. Evans Simasiku at: 

Lake Liambezi

Edited by: Evans Simasiku
April 2013
Research team at KIFI and Katima Mulilo Regional Office, 2012

Table of contents
1.      Introduction
2.      Aims
     3.      Methodology
     4.      Results and Discussions
     5.      Recommendations
     6.      Challenges
    7.      Acknowledgements

1. Introduction
The Caprivi Region in Namibia is a narrow strip of land extending eastwards from the northeast corner of the country, and is bordered by Angola and Zambia to the north, Botswana to the east (Figure 1.). The region is flat and characterised by numerous swamps and slow-flowing rivers. A major swamp system is centered on Lake Liambezi (Figure.1). The lake is shallow (<6m deep), semi-endorheic, and characterised by cyclic episodes of filling and drying.  In the “good” years the lake is highly productive. In the “bad” years, the lake is completely dry and used for extensive cattle grazing and growing small patches of maize and sorghum.  Periods of drying and filling are characterised by extremely unstable conditions and large fluctuations in water quality and composition and abundance of biota.  Lake Liambezi supported an important subsistence fishery in the 1970s and 1980s until it dried up in 1985 (van der Waal, 1976).  Some inflows were recorded during the 2000 and 2003 floods, and since 2007 the lake has received more floodwaters, culminating in April 2009 in a major flood, causing the lake to fill up completely. Once again, the fishery in the Lake is very important. More-than 100 fishermen thrive on fish with an estimated weekly harvest of about 5 tons tapped out from the lake, of which 2 tons is exported through local markets to Zambia and Congo. While the work of van der Wall in the 1970’s is important, no recent work has been conducted within the context of monitoring, management and regulation since the Lake replenished in 2009. Of particular relevance is the information on its species composition, catch per unit effort, annual landings, gear type and efficiency.

2. Aims
The aim of this report is to contribute towards a holistic monitoring protocol for the Lake Liambezi fishery in the Caprivi Region and provide management recommendations for the sustainable utilisation of the commercially important cichlids species such as Oreochromis andersonii, Oreochromis macrochir and Tilapia rendalli. Leg 2 aimed to:
a)      Determine the overall species composition caught by monofilament and multifilament gillnets of different mesh sizes.
b)      Determine the CPUE of all species per gillnet type and mesh size.
c)      Depict the biomass proportion of each species in monofilament and multifilament gillnets
d)     Determine the size at which O. andersonii is selected for in different sized nets.

 3. Sampling methods
Capture experiments were carried out simultaneously in March 2012 in the same area of the Lake to give approximately identical fishing conditions. Data were collected using gillnets similar in length and mesh sizes to those commonly used by commercial fishers throughout Lake Liambezi. Three stratified offshore habitats were selected for this study (Figure .1): Sampling was archived with a series of 10 gillnet panels comprising two net types, (5 x monofilament and 5 x multifilament nets). Individual nets had a length of 100 m long, with the stretched mesh sizes of 3” inches 3.5”, 4”, 4.5”, and 5” (Table 4.1). The depth and hanging ratio of each net were 38 meshes and 0.50. Gillnets were randomly set in the offshore waters at approximately 17h00 and lift at 06:00. Soak time difference between nets was minimized by hauling in order of setting (Losanes et al. 1992). On landing, the fish caught in each net were removed and sorted into species according to net and mesh sizes using the taxonomic keys by Skelton (2001). All fish were measured to the nearest millimeter total length (TL) or fork length (FL) depending on the species, and weighed to the nearest gram (g) to determine and compare the CPUEs of the two net types.  Fish caught were grouped into 10 mm TL length class to determine the selectivity parameters for the gear.
Figure 1. Map of Lake Liambezi, showing all the sampling zones (A – B).

Interesting results

Figure 4.1. Hepsetus odoe (African pike), the overall abundant species caught by the commercial experimental gillnets in Lake Liambezi, in March 2013.
Figure 4.2 . Combined catch per unit of effort of all caught species by weight, in Lake Liambezi


  • Continuous monitoring on the lake, to avoid stock depletions and ensure sustainable exploitation.
  • The minimum mesh size as stipulate by the Inland act should be increased from 3” to 3.5”
  • The collapse of the Lake Malombe cichlid fishery in Malawi should be set as learning curve for all African lakes

Figure 4.6. Immature fish selected by the 3” monofilament gillnet.


Full report available: Contact Mr. Evans Simasiku at: 

Brooding House at KIFI back in Action

(L) The concrete ponds in the brooding house filling up with water (R) Raw water being pumped into re-circulation system
Mr. Mataya and his team replaced one of the electric pumps in the brooding house on Tuesday,16 April. They started relocating the Tilapia rendalli brooding stock from the earth pond during Thursday (18 April) morning.

Mr. Mataya and his team relocating the Tilapia rendalli

Mr. Burger Introduced to Headmen Muhero of Kamutjonga Village under the HambukushuTraditional Authority

Kamutjonga Headmen, Muhero in the middel (blue shirt). Mr. Burger (Deputy Director, KIFI to his right and  the  Kamutjonga Secretary, Mr. Eduard  and Mr. Mataya (KIFI "Farm Manager") to his left
Mr. Renier Burger, newly appointed Deputy Director at Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute was introduced to Headmen, Muhero of the Kamutjonga Village under the HambukushuTraditional Authority on Tuesday, 16 April 2013.

Headmen Muhero was happy to meet with Mr. Burger. He expressed his gratitude regarding the close cooperation that exist between his office and KIFI. Mr. Burger assured him that the close cooperation will continue... 

Crockango Fishing Competition: 1-4 May 2013

 Committee 2013:    Cecil du Plessis, Kola V/D Post,
                                      Izak Grobbelaar, Mauro Rosa, Steve Ribas,
                                                               Toze Azevedo, Ernest Atkinson,
                                                               Jaco Oberholser,  Pine Pinaar,
FAX: 066-256111
P.O. Box 1346



d)      NAMPOL
j)        MARSHALLS
k)      SPONSORS
l)        MEDIA










1st of May 2013

05:00         Inspection of Boats by Marchals
05:30         Pull Away time and competition starts
17:30         Weigh in of Fish and end of Day 1

2nd of May 2013

05:00         Inspection of Boats by Marchals
05:30         Pull Away time and competition starts
17:30         Weigh in of Fish and end of Day 2

 3rd of May 2013

05:00         Inspection of Boats by Marchals
05:30         Pull Away time and competition starts
17:30         Weigh in of Fish and end of Day 3

4th of May 2013

05:00         Inspection of Boats by Marchals
05:30         Pull Away time and competition starts
13:00         Weigh in of Fish and end of Day 4, Final Day
17:00         Prize Giving Ceremony Starts
20:00         Prize Giving Ceremony End with vote of thanks to Sponsors

Ministry of Fisheries staff will attend to monitor species composition and disease surveillance/observation ...

Mr. Nguyen Van Diep Leaves for a Well Deserved Holiday in Vietnam

Mr. Van Diep with KIFI staff memebers before he left
 Nguyen van Diep was deeply involved with aquaculture at KIFI as a Vietnamese Technician (expert) since December 2010. We all know him as a hard working individual. He will leave for Vietnam on a well deserved break on Friday the 19th of April 2013.  Upon his return he will assist aquaculture at Ongwediva

Enjoy your rest and time with your family. The staff at KIFI will miss you...!!!

Nguyen van Diep ready to leave 

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Biannual (February 2013) Kavango Biological Survey Data Available

Kavango river in Namibia


By:    Celestino Ferreira – FRT
          Victoria Mumba – FRT
          Noa Shapumba – FRT 

1. Introduction
The Kavango River (sometimes referred to as the Okavango River) originates from the Angolan highlands south of Nova Lisboa (now referred to as Huambo in the Huambo Province) and flows eastwards to form a border between Angola and Namibia, traverses the Caprivi Strip and eventually spills out into the Okavango Delta in Botswana (MFMR, 1995).Namibia is generally a very arid to semi-arid country with limited freshwater resources. However, the Northeast part of Namibia is characterised by a presence of perennial rivers systems such as the Kavango River and other Rivers such as the Zambezi, Kwando and Chobe.
The Kavango River as a system is more than just a source of fresh water for human consumption in that it is also an important habitat for abundant freshwater fish resources. The Okavango floodplain system in Namibia consists of the main river, standing backwaters, swamps and floodplains covered by water seasonally. This time of the year is considered to be the time when the floods are at their peak. High water levels are known to cause low catches by fisherfolks. This also causes water quality parameters to be slightly lower than during the dry season. Hence, low CPUE and low readings on water quality parameters due to the dilution factor.

2. Objectives
To collect time series data on fish biology, and fish dynamics of the Fishery. Putting into consideration also the water quality parameters (Environmental factors) that can be recorded.

3. Study area
The study area included five different stations along the Kavango River. Stations included Kwetze, Cuito, Musese, Nkurenkuru and Rundu.

4. Methods and Materials
4.1 Water quality monitoring
Monitoring of water quality parameters was done at all the sampling stations visited during the survey. DO, TDS, Salinity, Conductivity, pH, Water Temperature were measured using HACH HQd multimeter. Recording was done 3 to 4 times per station and the mean was used as the final result. Data was recorded on specially adapted field forms for water quality monitoring form for KIFI. Data was entered and analysed in Microsoft Excel for.

4.2 Fish sampling and data collection
Fish sampling was done at Kwetze, Cuito, Rundu, Musese and Nkurenkuru. Gillnets were the sole sampling gears at all the stations and effort was kept at six gillnets per stations and spread over three nights meaning two gillnets were put out per night.Each gillnet was mounted with eleven panels of different sizes. The different panels were of size 12”, 16”, 22 28”, 35”, 45”, 57”, 73”, 93”, 118”, 150” which were randomly attached. Data was entered and analysed in using Pasgear 2.

Download the full document and read more about the results and discussions at:

RAMSAR site Proposal: Lower Kavango, Mahangu Game Park Meeting: 10 April 2013

Dr. Chris Brown explaining the delineation of the proposed RAMSAR site in the lower Kavango  (Mahangu Game Reserve)
Mr. P. Steyn, regional head of the Ministry of Environment and Tourism convened a meeting at Mahangu Game Reserve scheduled for 14:00 pm with all relevant stakeholders to discuss the proposed RAMSAR site in the lower Kavango river basin within Namibia. The site will fall within the boundaries of the Mahangu Game Reserve.
Lodge owners attending the meeting

Dr. Peter Tarr, Dr. Chris Brown and Brian Jones from Southern African Institute for Environmental Assessment (SAIEA) addressed the audience on the proposed site as well as the proposed integrated multi-stakeholder management plan for the sustainable management of the site.

Stakeholders that were consulted include the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (represented by Mr. Burger: Deputy Director Inland Aquaculture), lodge owners,  Ministry of Environment and Tourism staff at Mahangu as well as the Traditional authority at Kamutjonga.
Delineation of the proposed RAMSAR site in the lower Kavango: Mahango Game Reserve

For more info contact:

The meeting ended 17:00 pm

Continues Landscaping Progress: KIFI

 Joseph Shapenga with Abner standing behind and temporary workers relaxing on the natural bench  they made during the week on a newly established  Rundu lawn
Exiting times as Landscaping at KIFI is continuously evolving. Joseph Shapenga has big plans. He want the KIFI landscape to compete with the surrounding lodges. This week they made a few natural benches and continue with establishing Rundu lawn in front of the Aquarium.

What a pleasure to be part of such a winning team....!!! We need a lawnmower...???
The new Rundu lawn at the Aqarium

South South Cooperation: Director Visit KIFI to Measure Progress: 10 April 2013

Dr. Moses Maurihungirire (nearest) with Dr. Chung and the 3 Vietnamese Technical Assistants  and Mr. Burger, Mr Mataya and Mr. Mwanamwali on the opposite side of the table
The Director of Aquaculture, Dr. Moses Maurihungirire accompanied by Dr. Dinh van Toung and Mr. Ngo Sy Van (Vietnamese Technical Experts) visited KIFI as part of their mission on the South South Cooperation Programme. Read more about their schedule at:

The meeting was attended by six staff members from KIFI:  Mr. Burger (Dep. Director: KIFI), Ms. V. Mumba, Mr. H. Amkongo, Ms. K. S. Dawid (Politech student), Mr. D. Mwanamwali, Mr. Mataya Hermes (SSC Team Leader KIFI) Mr. V. Duc and Mr. N. van Diep (Vietnamese technicians).

Mr. Burger alias Dokota Bega (Deputy Director: KIFI) welcomed all participants and asked Ms. Victoria Mumba to open the proceedings with a prayer. 

Dr. Maurihungirire encouraged inland fisheries researchers to pursue research with passion and pride. It is a privilege to be employed and work in such a conducive environment. No challenge can be too big or daunting to overcome as the tools of science and the capacity of the human brain has proved that there is always a solution. He encouraged KIFI staff to be active in research. Each professional staff member should at least engage in two research activities per year and present papers to this effect. He further encouraged staff to participate and present research at the upcoming Research Workshop organised by the Directorate Resource Management (MFMR) during early June 2013 in Swakopmund.  
Dr. Maurihungirire further elaborated on the good relations between Namibia and Vietnam as the current cooperation in the aquaculture industry clearly reflects. He made it clear that no stone must be left un-turned in order to achieve the implementation of activities under the SSC Programme. Progress must be monitored and reported in a scientific format acceptable to all stakeholders and in accordance with applicable agreements.

The floor was then handed to the presenters. Mr. Mataya Hermes made the first  Presentation on The Implementation Plan of SSC activities, issues, challenges and the way forward at KIFI. This was followed with a presentation by Mr. Duc (Vietnamese Aquacaulture technician)on: Comparison on the growth rate of Tilapia between all male and mix gender at Karovo fish farm. 

Mr. Ngo Sy Van presented two project proposals: Application Of The Current Techniques To Produce  Zooplankton Biomass and  Establish a native Freshwater Fish Museam at Kamutjonga Inland Fisheries Institute 
These proposal was discussed in depth and several amendments was proposed and noted. These documents are available on request.

The meeting ended 12:40 pm.
The next progress reporting meeting of the SSC Programme will take place on a date still to be confirmed during the next quarter somewhere in June/July 2013.

Mr. Mataya presented progress on the SSC activities on behalf of KIFI
Mr. V. Duc (Vietnamese Aquaculture Technician) busy with his presentation 

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Burger visit Karovo Fish Farm

Karovo fish farm is situated about 40 km from Divundu on the way to Rundu
A small delegation from KIFI accompanied Mr. Burger to Karovo Fish farm on Friday, 5 April 2013. The purpose of the visit was to introduce him to the Cooperative members and to familiarize him with the situation at Karovo. 

Mr. Shitengu (Chief Fisheries Biologist: KIFI) introducing Mr. Burger to the Cooperative members at Karovo Fish Farm
There are  many challenges at Karovo that we will have to address in future. This includes maintenance to the infrastructure, a proper management structure (manager...?), stronger pump (to fill the ponds), amendments to the purging pond -and drainage of earth ponds as well as collaboration with the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (Directorate Extension Kavango region) to improve the horticulture production on the farm.

There is huge potential for aqua-phonics...!!!
Cooperative members and KIFI staff meeting under the Lapa (L). The main building at Karovo (R).
Maintenance needed
Purging pond and earth ponds that needs amendment in terms of a stronger pumping system and better drainage
The orchard and horticulture garden at Karovo. Collaboration with MAWF is needed