Thursday, 24 October 2013

Counting Rock Lobsters in Tristan da Cunha

The next presentation in the DIFS/SAIAB Seminar Series will be by Brian Godfrey
The MV Oliva, a bulk carrier transporting a cargo of 65 000 tons of soya bean, ran aground at Nightingale Island (Tristan da Cunha) on 16 March 2011. The grounding resulted in the leakage of 1 500 tonnes of heavy fuel oils and diesel into the surrounding seas, and all cargo was lost when the vessel broke in half and sank on 18 March 2011. Divers from the Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science (DIFS), Rhodes University, were recruited to assess the potential effects of oil pollution on juvenile rock lobster.
Venue: Lecture Room, Department of Ichthyology & Fisheries Science (DIFS)
Date:     Thursday, 24 October 2013
Time:     10.30am

Thursday, 17 October 2013

The ETYFish Project

Announcing the release of The ETYFish Project, the first and only reference that aims to explain the name etymology of every valid genus, subgenus, species and subspecies of fish and fish-like raniate (excluding fossils).

The Project's objectives are twofold: to provide an English translation of a fish’s generic and specific names, and to explain how the name applies to the fish in question. Many references accomplish the first objective but fall short with the second

Thursday, 10 October 2013

Carbon emission could lead to mass extinctions in oceans

The oceans are more acidic now than at any point in the last 300 million years. The mass extinction of species in the ocean could already be inevitable as a result, as reported by the International Programme on the State of the Ocean.State of the Ocean Report 2013
Read more about the report in the Mail & Guardian here

Monday, 7 October 2013

EWT Water Feature newletter

The latest newsletter of the Source to Sea programme is now available:

Water Feature Newsletter
June 2013 v

Friday, 4 October 2013

New books and online resources

Link to our Libguide for new print and online resources available at the Margaret Smith Library.

Thursday, 3 October 2013

New FFSG website launched

The Freshwater Fish Specialist Group was established in 2004 and is a joint partnership between the IUCN Species Survival Commission and Wetlands International. Chaired by Professor Gordon McGregor Reid (Director Emeritus, Chester Zoo UK), the FFSG are a diverse group of experts, spread over 17 regions around the world, with a solid record in ichthyology and the conservation of freshwater fishes.

Read more about the Southern African Group

Thursday, 8 August 2013

The Women and the Coelacanth

2013 marks the 75th anniversary of the finding of the living coelacanth in 1938. Without the women scientists involved, the story may never have happened.

We celebrate Women's Day, 8th August 2013, in their honour:

Latimeria chalumnae (ill. Elaine Heemstra © SAIAB)

Friday, 12 July 2013

2nd International Conference on Fish Telemetry (ICFT)

On behalf of the Organizing Committee it gives me great pleasure to invite you to the 2nd International Conference on Fish Telemetry (ICFT) to be held in Grahamstown, South Africa, from Sunday 14 July 2013 to Friday 19 July 2013.

Wednesday, 26 June 2013

DIFS/SAIAB Seminar Dr Romina Henriques: The Benguela Current

Dr Romina Henriques: The Benguela Current – a natural laboratory to study evolution.

Lecture Room, DIFS

Thursday 27 June 2013
10.30 a.m.
Oceanographic features, such as currents, fronts and upwelling cells, have been recognized as possible factors driving population differentiation within marine species.The Benguela Current, in southwestern Africa, is considered to be a major biogeographical barrier to the dispersion of tropical species between the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific Oceans.

Wednesday, 5 June 2013

DIFS/SAIAB Seminar Dr Jackie Hill Community dynamics of an invaded ecosystem

Dr Jackie Hill

Community dynamics of an invaded ecosystem: investigation of a Pterygoplichthys disjunctivus invasion in the Nseleni River system, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa.

Venue: Lecture Room, SAIAB
Date:     Thursday, 6 June 201
Time:    3.30pm

Increases in urbanization and anthropogenic activity within watersheds is globally recognized as one of the main drivers of eutrophication to date, and excessive nitrogen loads in aquatic systems can result in widespread ecosystem degradation including: hypoxia, toxic algal blooms, increased turbidity, disruption of ecosystem functioning and the loss of biodiversity. Aquatic ecosystems compromised by increased N-loading have a lower capacity for system resilience and often face further threats to ecological integrity by the establishment of invasive species. Despite existing legislation regarding the import and sale of exotic species worldwide, the establishment of invasive species in many aquatic ecosystems has been the result of accidental or deliberate introduction via the aquarium trade.

Friday, 24 May 2013

Water and Biodiversity

Water and Biodiversity was chosen as the theme to coincide with the United Nations designation of 2013 as the International Year of Water Cooperation.

Read more and admire the photos at

Thursday, 7 March 2013

Mislabelling of seafood rife

The furore surrounding the mislabelling of meat products in Europe has now also reached South Africa’s shores, with a recent study finding that 99 of 139 meat samples from South African wholesalers and retailers contained species not declared in the product label. The samples included donkey, goat and water buffalo meat.  The research institutions responsible for the report also published a 2012 study into mislabelling in the seafood industry, which revealed that the practice is widespread in South Africa.

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Potential harvest of most fish stocks largely unrelated to abundance

Fisheries managers should sharpen their ability to spot environmental conditions that hamper or help fish stocks, rather than assuming that having a certain abundance of fish assures how much can be sustainably harvested.

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

The Giant Squid videoed

Click for larger image
Architeuthis: read more at Encyclopedia of Life
(Newser)– Discovery is about to release the Kraken: Until now, the giant squid had never been caught on video in its natural habitat. But Japan's National Science Museum has managed to capture the footage. Discovery Channel will air the footage in the special “Monster Squid: The Giant Is Real,” on Sunday, Jan. 27 at 10PM EST as the season finale of the Curiosity series.

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Managing invasive alien fish, Cedarberg

Invasion of the Rondegat River in the Cedarberg, Western Cape, by smallmouth bass Micropterus dolomieu has resulted in the extinction of several native fish species in the lower reaches of the river. In an attempt to rehabilitate aquatic environments for not only fish, but also amphibians and invertebrates, the piscicide rotenone is being implemented in this and other rivers by Cape Nature.

Clanwilliam yellowfish (Darragh Woodford, SAIAB)
Clanwilliam yellowfish (Olaf Weyl, SAIAB)
The fish team was led by Dr Olaf Weyl (SAIAB) and Bruce Ellender (Rhodes University), assisted by two MSc and nine Honours students. Dr Darrragh Woodford (SAIAB/Centre for Invasion Biology) was part of the invertebrate team.

    "Juvenile yellowfish were recorded in the first pool of the treatment area just three days after the operation, and two month later both yellowfish and redfin minnow Barbus callidus were recorded (the latter for the first time in probably 70 years)."

Read more about the preliminary surveys, the pilot project, and ongoing monitoring, in
Water Wheel Volume 11 No 6 November/December 2012.