Monday, 17 October 2016

Deep Secrets Cruise


The ACEP Deep Secrets cruise aboard the Department of Environment’s RV Algoa is currently underway!



The month long Deep Secrets Cruise (till the 26th October) aims to develop an understanding of shelf edge and slope ecosystems and their geological and oceanographic drivers to support improved integrated ecosystem based management in multiple sectors in South Africa.

Read more ...


Monday, 15 August 2016

African Journal of Marine Science: KwaZulu-Natal Bight Supplement

The KwaZulu-Natal Bight is an offset in an otherwise 1 300 km curvilinear coastline on the east coast of South Africa. This offset, and associated expansion in shelf width, was caused by a change in the tectonic origin of the continental shelf margin, from a sheared to a short-rifted section, and is approximately 160 km long between Durban and Richards Bay.
The list of papers below has been made available for a limited free access period (until end September 2016). The articles can be accessed by clicking on their respective titles below.

A brief overview of the ACEP project: Ecosystem Processes in the KwaZulu-Natal Bight. ST Fennessy, MJ Roberts and AW Paterson.

Women's Month: Mary Margaret Smith (1916-1987)

The Library at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity is named for Margaret Smith, the first Director of the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology. We honour her during August, Women's Month in South Africa.
From the cover of The life and work of Margaret M. Smith / Mike Bruton (c.1986)

Mary Margaret Macdonald attended Rhodes University College in Grahamstown from 1934 to 1937. She was awarded her B.Sc. degree in 1936, majoring in physics and chemistry (with distinction), and became a senior demonstrator in the Chemistry Department. 
JLB Smith (1897-1968) Associate Professor of Organic Chemistry, and Mary Macdonald, were married in 1938. With her not liking the new name "Mary Smith", she was was from that time always known as "Margaret Smith".
JLB Smith with White steenbras , Knysna ca. 1950
JLB Smith, a keen angler, developed a more formal interest in ichthyology, the study of fishes. His young wife soon became involved in his hobby and accompanied him on fishing trips and collecting expeditions.
Margaret Smith drawing on a boat in the Seychelles   
Typical lab conditions, Shimoni, Kenya 1952
In 1946 the Department of Ichthyology was established at Rhodes University and J.L.B and Margaret Smith were able to devote all their energies to the production of an authoritative book on the sea fishes of southern Africa.

Wednesday, 29 June 2016

Book of the Week: Traditional fishing methods of Africa / Mike Bruton

Fishing is one of the most ancient forms of hunting and has spawned an astonishing variety of Innovative methods and equipment used to outwit and catch fishes and other aquatic animals.

Traditional fishing methods of Africa addresses a much neglected but very important part of Africa’s technological heritage: its indigenous fishing technologies.

Sunday, 12 June 2016

Book of the Week: Exotic aquarium fishes / William T. Innes

Our book of the Week, Exotic aquarium fishes: a work of general reference, was published in 19 editions from 1935 to 1966 by author and publisher, William T. Innes.  It was known popularly as "The Innes Book". With text kept together with pictures, this became an easy-to-read aquarists' bible, from the basic Aquarium Principles -- oxygen, light, temperature, feeding -- to Show Rules and Practices.


This illustration from the 7th ed. typically shows a pair of fishes (the female is the upper fish) and includes helpful information regarding popular name, pronounciation and derivation of the scientific name, and the fishes' location on the book's maps. The text following this discusses the mating and rearing of these dazzling fishes, referring to an article in The Aquarium magazine (also published by Innes) for more detail on embryology and life habits.

Why "exotic?"
"Exotic" is in every way a better word than "tropical." Tropical gives the impression that all these fishes come from torrid climates, and that they must be kept at steaming temperature. In many instances the idea works to their injury and also creates in the public mind the belief that they are delicate, and difficult to keep. "Exotic" expresses that fascination we expect of anything from distant parts, and which our aquarium fishes possess in such full measure" (p. 4)
Read more about the history of the book (especially the production of the illustrations) and the author here

Wednesday, 11 May 2016

Smartphone app empowers small-scale fishers

Launched at Lamberts's Bay on the west coast August 2015, Abalobi (isiXhosa for 'fisher') is an open source app, currently in development (pilot phase), designed to cover all aspects of small-scale fisheries governance from 'hook to cook' .

 “This is not about a team of IT people developing yet another app. Abalobi is a project by the small-scale fishing community themselves, to own the process of implementing the policy they fought for.” 

Read more on Abalobi's News page

Tuesday, 26 April 2016

Recent contributions to Science Communication by SAIAB

Reported in the latest edition of


Well done

 Kerry on your article on the science communication course
held under the auspices of the British Council and ASSAf




Working World ExhibitionTeam Tshoanelo, Zipho and Seshnee

Wednesday, 30 March 2016

World Fish Migration Day 2016

The world is celebrating World Fish Migration Day 2016, on May 21, 2016. to raise awareness on the importance of migratory fish and healthy rivers. 

There are already 200 registered events, in 41 different countries (you can check them out clicking here), and the number grows every day. Amazing enthusiasm of all the participants, from native Americans in USA to school children from China, from workshops in Ethiopia to kayaking trips in the Balkans.

Wednesday, 23 March 2016

Friday, 19 February 2016

WRC's Drought SA Portal

(pic: eNCA)
Droughts are a major feature of the South African climate, due to its location, topography, and below-average rainfall. Living in a country vulnerable to drought requires that all citizens are empowered to do their part in mitigating the impacts of these droughts. 

On this site, you will find links to important and up-to-date information about the status of the current drought in South Africa, and suggestions and guidelines for conserving water. 

Wednesday, 27 January 2016

[South] African Journal of Marine Science free online

The co-publishers of the African Journal of Marine Science, NISC and Taylor & Francis, have provided free online access to all volumes of the journal that were published in-house by the predecessors of the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries. The period in question is 1983-2004, vols. 1-26, inclusive.