Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association

Enabling Sustainable Exploitation of the Coastal Tuna Species (Kawakawa and Skipjack) in the Western Indian Ocean

Project Objectives

1. Determine genome-wide genetic diversity within populations of Kawakawa and Skipjack tunas within this part of the WIO region, and so define biological population (stock) structuring and levels of connectivity (effective migration / gene flow) across the region;
2. Investigate the influence of oceanographic factors (sea surface temperature and chlorophyll-a) on the distribution, spawning pattern, genetic structure and abundance of Kawakawa and Skipjack in the WIO region.
3. Conduct economic analysis of -Kawakawa and Skipjack tuna fisheries, for aiding resource management and optimizing societal benefit.

Expected Results

i. Scientific knowledge on genetic stock structure of Kawakawa and Skipjack tuna species, to aid design of appropriate stock management plans, documented.
ii. Information on the factors influencing distribution, spawning pattern and abundance which is important for long term stock management documented.
iii. Economic analysis of tuna fisheries (Kawakawa and Skipjack) for aiding resource management and optimizing societal benefit documented.
iv. The compilation of Communication documents and Policy Briefs will allow enhanced understanding by the general public and better decision making by National Governments and regional bodies such as the IOTC

Basic Facts
Project Partners:
  1. Rhodes University, Department of Ichthyology & fisheries Science, South Africa
  2. Institute of Biological, Environmental and Rural Sciences (IBERS), Aberystwyth University, Penglais Aberrystwyth United Kingdom
  3. Plymouth Marine Laboratory (PML), Prospect Place, Plymouth United Kingdom
  4. Department of Animal, Aquaculture and Range Sciences, Sokoine University of Agriculture, Morogoro, Tanzania
  5. Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI), Silas Road, Mombasa, Kenya
  6. University of Dar es Salaam, Department of Molecular Biology and Biotechnology, Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
  7. Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI), Dar es Salaam Tanzania
  8. Fisheries Research Institute (IIP) Mozambique, Mao Tse-tung Avenue, Maputo, Mozambique
Lead Institution: Rhodes University-South Africa
Year of Approval: 2018
Project Country: Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, and Tanzania
Investigators: Warwick Sauer
Study Sites:
Project Activities:

The project will describe genetic diversity, population structure and connectivity of two commercially important tuna species (Kawakawa and Skipjack) for small-scale fisheries from South Africa, Mozambique, Tanzania and Kenya. In addition, the project will relate the findings to economic benefit, biological and environmental information to inform management and development of artisanal tuna fishery in the region.

Students Supported by the Project and Titles of their Projects
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