WIOGEN project launch

wiogen3IOI-SA, together with our partners at Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), were at the WIOMSA Symposium in Mauritius to launch the West Indian Ocean Governance and Exchange Network – WIOGEN. The network is an opportunity for knowledge exchange and capacity building in the West Indian Ocean region. It complements other regional marine science networks by focusing explicitly on ocean and coastal governance – bridging the social and marine sciences. There are three broad themes under which a series of exciting scientific exchanges, publications and training schools will be developed:

  • Nutritional Security, sustainable fisheries, aquaculture and livelihoods
  • Marine Spatial Planning and Coastal Management
  • Biodiversity conservation, pollution and habitat loss.

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Ship’s Biofouling in Port Louis Harbour – Mauritius

Adnan Awad explaining the sampling procedure

IOI-SA joined the multi-stakeholder team, lead by the Ministry of Ocean Economy, Marine Resources, Fisheries and Shipping in Mauritius this July to investigate biofouling on ships in Port Louis. Biofouling is the attachment and growth of non-desirable organisms on the submerged surfaces of ships’ hulls. The growth of organisms not only slows down ships, resulting in an increase in fuel costs, but is also an important way in which the introduction of alien, invasive species to new areas can occur. It is therefore an ecological and economic threat to Ports. This was the second field visit for the project and included sediment sampling and sampling of hulls in Port. This project includes a large team from multiple organisations, including the Mauritius Oceanographic Institute, Shipping Division, Mauritius Ports Authority and National Coast Guard.

Processing of samples
Coast Guard Divers investigating the submerged hull

Science for Solutions: Bringing Stakeholders together to Improve Ocean Planning and Governance in ABNJ

The STRONG High Seas Project gathered in Cape Town with representatives from countries, NGOs and academia for the second dialogue workshop about Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction. This workshop was organised in conjunction with the UN-WCMC ABNJ Deep Seas Project and included representatives from all around Africa and was held in partnership with both the Abidjan and Nairobi Secretariats.

Some of the STRONG High Seas Project Team in Cape Town, June 2019

The importance of the inherent connectivity of the ocean and how commercial activities in the High Seas can impact on coastal livelihoods and overall ecosystem health was reiterated while participants worked to tackle the complexity of how to conserve biodiversity in areas beyond national jurisdiction – given the current fragmented governance systems. The workshop highlighted the role of regional organisations in this arena and was dove-tailed with a meeting of the ABNJ Technical working group for the Abidjan Convention.


Developing WIOGEN

This week, IOI-SA was in Langebaan, on the West Coast of South Africa, for a meeting to develop a new project, WIOGEN: Western Indian Ocean Governance Exchange Network. The project is an exciting opportunity to work with our partners at Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT) in Bremen towards building capacity for ocean governance in the Western Indian Ocean Region.


We also had the opportunity to meet the rest of the teams working on proposals for the MeerWissen project, funded through BMZ and managed by GIZ. It was fruitful meeting for sharing ideas and suggestions on six exciting proposals that will benefit African marine research, sustainable resource use and good ocean governance.

MAMI WATA Project visits


The IOI-SA is one of the three Centers in Expertise for the “Enhancing Marine Management in West, Central and Southern Africa through Training and Application” Project. In January and February of this year (2019) we have visited the three pilot countries – Benin, Ivory Coast and Ghana – to understand their capacity needs for implementing Marine Spatial Planning (MSP) as part of the Mami Wata project.



2019 Course in Ocean Governance

Applications are open for the 2019 IOI-SA Course in Ocean Governance for Africa.

The course will run from the 2 – 27th September 2019 in Cape Town, South Africa. The course is run in collaboration with our partners, SANBI and SAIMI. For more information, please go to the Course Page where application forms are also available.


Applications will close on the 18th April 2019. Spaces are limited.

3rd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress, Chiang Mai Thailand

In October 2018, IOI-SA attended the 3rd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress in Chiang Mai, Thailand.  The Congress is an international gathering of approximately 350 researchers, practitioners, academics, fisher organisations, CSOs, international development agencies and policy makers to share information about all aspects of small-scale fisheries and to formulate action plans and capacity development programmes to support the implementation of the UNFAO SSF Guidelines. The main theme for the 3rd World Congress was ‘Transdisciplinarity and Transformation for the Future of Small-Scale Fisheries’ with the aim of facilitating interaction, information sharing, cross-fertilization of ideas and networking opportunities for participants.


IOI-SA presented its Small-scale Responsible Fisheries Training Project  at the dynamic Science Cafe session on Day 1 of the Congress, themed ‘Science Day’. The presentation focused on building partnerships for enhancing sustainable fishing practices in South African coastal communities and showcased the Projects innovative methods in communicating messages on sustainable fishing practices. Continue reading 3rd World Small-Scale Fisheries Congress, Chiang Mai Thailand

Transdisciplinarity in Small-Scale Fisheries, Chiang Mai Thailand

In October 2018 IOI-SA attended the Too Big To Ignore Network (TBTI)  Train-the-Trainer workshop for Transdisciplinarity in Small-Scale Fisheries in Chiang Mai, Thailand. The Train-the-Trainer workshop forms part of a 5 month online training course on Transdisciplinarity in Small-Scale Fisheries. The Train-the-Trainer training brings together of a group of around 30 academics and NGOs who are involved in small-scale fisheries  training, teaching or capacity development in different regions. The group discusses the use of transdisciplinarity methods as a tool to address challenges in small-scale fisheries, as well as effective teaching and training methods.
In January 2019 TBTI will launch the online Transdisciplinarity in Small-Scale Fisheries course. In this way, the Train-the-Trainer workshop creates a network of facilitators for the online training, but also to partner in disseminating face-to-face training in Transdisciplinarity in Small-scale Fisheries.

Port Biological Survey in Rodrigues, Mauritius

Deploying equipment
Deploying the wave and tide recorder that will sit at the bottom taking measurements all week.

Adnan Awad is in Mauritius overseeing a port biological baseline survey, with the team from Mauritius Oceanography Institute. They are sampling all habitats in and around the Port Mathurin and adjacent marina, including video transects on the outside coral reefs. This will give them a baseline of marine biodiversity and indication of any introduced alien species. So far they are very impressed with the species richness for corals and reef fishes and haven’t yet noticed any serious invaders. Following 5 days in the field, samples will be sent back to Mauritius and South Africa for taxonomic ID, which may take several months.

National Coast Guard divers
Some of the divers from the National Coast Guard getting ready to go sampling
Logging samples
Logging samples

2018 Course in Ocean Governance

Applications are now open for the 2018 Course in Ocean Governance. The course will run from the 3rd – 28th September at Kirstenbosch in Cape Town, South Africa. The course will be run in collaboration with our partners SAIMI and SANBI.  The deadline for applications is the 13th April 2018. Spaces are limited. For more information please go to the course page.


The course is designed to contribute to building a sustainable core of experts on ocean governance for the continent and is intended for professionals, managers, educators, researchers and civil society members that have coastal and marine related responsibilities, functions or interests, preferably from or with an interest in countries within the African region.