Ocean Academy

In celebration of IOI International’s 50th Anniversary, the global centres are delivering online Ocean Academies around the World! IOI-SA and SAIMI will be hosting an Ocean Academy in August 2022 for interns exploring maritime and marine careers.

We need a healthy Ocean to survive. But our Ocean is in trouble, and so are we. By providing locally relevant, online education programmes, the IOI Ocean Academy will enable anyone interested to learn more about the complexities of the ocean and its local and global effects, now and in a changing future, laying the foundations for more informed understanding and personal daily decision-making.


  • 20-hour delivered online, 3,5 hours per session, twice a week (over 3 weeks)
  • Free-of-charge for participants.
  • A certificate of completion will be awarded to those who attend all the sessions and complete a feedback form.
  • Ocean knowledge that is locally relevant.
  • Overseen by the IOI-SA and implemented by local experts.
  • Dates:
    • 10 & 11 August 2022 (09:30 – 13:00 SAST)
    • 17 & 18 August 2022 (09:30 – 13:00 SAST)
    • 24 & 25 August 2022 (09:30 – 13:00 SAST)
  • Target Audience: Interns from various institutions that have an interest in the ocean, ocean literacy, and ocean opportunities, including government, non-government organisations, business, labour etc. To apply, please complete this form by the 30th July 2022.

People completing an IOI Academy Course will:

  • gain a basic understanding of the ocean: the goods and services it provides, the threats to the ocean, how to live in a more sustainable way with the ocean;
  • learn about the importance of ocean governance, sustainable and equitable human use, the principle of the common heritage of humankind, respecting the needs of future generations, all in locally relevant context;
  • be empowered to become more active locally as stakeholders to positively influence their communities and beyond;
  • be able to identify priority issues, trends and future challenges in ocean issues, locally and globally.

Regional small-scale fisheries governance training – creating an enabling environment for SSF Guidelines implementation

Since 2020, IOI-SA has been partnering with the FAO to develop and deliver a number of training courses to promote the implementation of the Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication (SSF Guidelines, 2015). A pilot 5-day Regional training course was delivered in the African region in early 2021, followed by a second course in the Asia region in November, 2021. The regional courses are aimed at government actors with the objective of building capacity for the uptake of the SSF Guidelines through policy and action. In 2022, the training will be delivered nationally in Malawi, to support the development of the NPOA-SSF (National Plan of Action for small-scale fisheries) in the country.  The development of an eLearning version of the course is also underway, and is to be launched by the FAO e-learning academy in 2022. A 3rd initiative is intended to provide a short, half-day training session on the SSF Guidelines to relevant FAO staff and partners with the objective of mainstreaming the principles of the SSF Guidelines into FAO and partner project proposals. The half-day course is to be delivered in four regions (Africa, Asia, Latin America, Central America) in 2022.

Workshop – Basic Concepts of Ocean Governance for Early Career Ocean Professionals

Over 700 applications from all over Africa (and some beyond) were received – a clear message that there is demand for these short workshops on the topic of ocean governance with a regional focus. Participants were from Angola, Cameroon, Ghana, Kenya, Liberia, Madagascar, Morocco, Mozambique, Namibia, Nigeria, Seychelles, Somalia, South Africa, eSwatini, Tanzania and Zimbabwe. This workshop offered the opportunity to individuals from a diverse range of Ocean related backgrounds – self-identifying as ECOPs – to acquire a basic knowledge of Ocean governance through a series of topical lectures on these topics:

  • Basic Concepts of Ocean Governance
  • The oceans and sustainable development
  • The Blue Economy and Societal Perspectives
  • Introduction to Marine Spatial Planning

WIOGEN Ocean Governance Conference

The WIOGEN Ocean Governance Conference took place from the 27 – 29th October 2021. There were over 300 registrations for this free virtual conference. Day 1 and Day 2 of the conference included over 50 presentations that showcased the excellent work being conducted in the WIO region. We were honoured by the involvement of our inspiring keynote speakers, pictured below. More information about our people and their presentations can be found here.

To promote cooperation amongst the various networks in the regiona, facilitated tea sessions showcased the WIO Women in Science Network and WIO Early Career Research Network.

Day 3 of the conference was a special session hosted by the Nairobi Convention Secretariat that focused on the role of science in ocean governance. The outcomes of these discussions will be written up in a report soon. We will also upload all the recordings of presentations on to the WIOGEN YouTube page as soon as possible.

IOI Continuing Professional Development

Course 2: New Developments and Emerging Issues in Ocean Governance

Nine online sessions between 4th Oct. – 4th Nov. 2021

This online Continuing Professional Development (CPD) course is offered jointly by IOI-Southern Africa and IOI-Canada as part of IOI’s commitment to continuing professional development for its alumni.  Nine live sessions in a series of three modules will utilise presentations, discussions, readings, videos and interactive tools to explore new and emerging issues in UNCLOS & ABNJ; Climate Change & Health of the Ocean; and Small-scale FisheriesThe schedule is available here and you can find out more our speakers here.

To apply, complete this online form by the application deadline of 15th September 2021.

The intended audience is anyone who has completed an IOI training programme prior to 2020 and is keen to improve their knowledge of recent developments in the field.  Since the course will be interactive, the class size will be capped at 24 and only applicants who can attend all nine sessions will be accepted.  Participants will be selected using a combination of criteria including gender, sectoral background, geographic location and profession.

WIOGEN Ocean Governance Conference 27-29 October

This is not your traditional scientific conference – WIOGEN aims to bring together leading academic scientists, researchers and policy makers to exchange and share their experiences and research results on all aspects of Ocean Governance in the Western Indian Ocean. It will provide an interdisciplinary platform for researchers, practitioners and educators to meaningfully network and present and discuss the most recent innovations, trends, and concerns as well as practical challenges encountered and solutions adopted in ocean governance under eight broad themes.

There is still an opportunity to submit abstracts when you register! Guidelines for abstract submission are available here. We are excited to partner with WIOMSA’s Western Indian Journal of Marine Science to produce a special conference edition of the Journal from Conference submissions. Please note that you will need to submit an extended publication if you wish your paper to be considered for publication in the special edition. We will also be accepting abstracts of those who are not in a position to publish in the special edition and stakeholder (non-academic) presentations which can include policy briefs, creative stories, training manuals, fact sheets etc.

Marine Biological Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction

The STRONG High Seas Project and its partners are pleased to announce the launch of a new website designed to provide information about Areas Beyond National Jurisdiction (ABNJ), including the conservation and sustainable use of Biodiversity Beyond National Jurisdiction (BBNJ), with an emphasis on the Abidjan Convention Region: The user-friendly site is a first stop for anyone wanting to learn more about marine biodiversity in ABNJ, the pressures it faces and the development under the UN of a new treaty on BBNJ. There are links to key publicationsevents andother websites that are of interest to the Southeast Atlantic.Short fact sheets provide bite-size summaries of key BBNJ issues. Some of the key themes covered on the website include:

The website is currently in English, please bear with us as we are busy developing a French and Portuguese version.

First Online Course in Ocean Governance wrapping up

The decision to move the Course in Ocean Governance to online was not taken lightly, but after delaying the 2020 training that was scheduled for September, and the continuing uncertainty around Covid-19, it was the pragmatic decision. The training started on the 22nd Feb and finished Friday, the 19th March.

The online format has opened up opportunities to engage with experts from 12 different countries and include our IOI partners from Egypt, Malta, Nigeria and Kenya. It allowed for innovative ways to approach learning, with a strong focus on peer-to-peer learning, discussion and group exercises. The participants, from 11 countries in Africa, and a broad range of professional backgrounds, stepped up to the challenge of engaging effectively online, with lively discussions taking place through the weeks. While we couldn’t take the participants to the field, we did create a short video on Estuary Management, to introduce our participants to governance in action, using Zandvlei Estuary in Cape Town as a case study.

To find out more about the Course in Ocean Governance click here. The next training is schedule for September 2021.

IOI-SA concludes a successful pilot training event on Small-scale Fisheries Governance

On 15-19 February, IOI-SA in collaboration with the FAO, held the pilot training event for the Small-Scale Fisheries Governance Training Program for Africa – for creating an enabling environment for the implementation of the FAOs Voluntary SSF Guidelines. 

The training event brought together government stakeholders and FAO country
representatives from the countries of Ghana, Namibia, Malawi, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania and Uganda. Over the 5 days, a great group of engaging participants interacted with experts and speakers from the region who delivered sessions of particular relevance to SSF governance in Africa. The sessions centered on approaches to good governance toward the recognition and awareness of the key principles and themes highlighted in the SSF Guidelines -grounded strongly in human rights based approaches. 

The training was well received by the participants, and served as a motivation for positive change for small-scale fisheries in their National contexts. “They (SSF sector) have fed the world. They have come from a place where they have been ignored. And now for the first time the world is looking in their direction. They are too big to ignore… Small-scale fishers lives matter.” – Participant, Ghana. 

Read more about the training event here
Read more about the FAOs Voluntary Guidelines for Securing Sustainable Small-Scale Fisheries in the Context of Food Security and Poverty Eradication here.