The Mombasa Research Center is situated at the shoreline at English Point, Mkomani close to the ASK Show Ground. The Center carries out inventory and assessment of fish stocks, their spatial and temporal abundance and distribution. In addition the Center conducts research on oceanography and hydrography including physical, chemical, biological and geological oceanography of the inshore, near shore and offshore waters. It also supports bio-prospecting in these waters and research on sustainable use and protection of aquatic resources in marine waters. The center seeks to establish cost-effective methods for sustainable exploitation of the aquatic resources (and the environment) through participatory approaches with stakeholders including local communities.
Aquaculture Research and Development
The department does research on new and adaptive culture species and techniques for enhanced fish production in different culture systems. Research on technologies in seed (fingerlings) production, feed formulation and production, hatchery development and operations techniques, the appropriate stocking levels for different production systems, and genetic and hormonal manipulation for increased fish production in aquaculture systems, post-harvest handling and market linkages. Under mariculture research efforts have concentrated on culture of finfish mostly milkfish (Chanos chanos), prawns, mudcrabs, seaweeds and artemia.
Fisheries and post harvest technology
The department does research on inventorying and assessment of fish stocks: their spatial and temporal abundance and distribution, fish ecology and biology, and population dynamics. Post-harvest technology and value addition research that covers fish handling and processing and investigating and isolating active substances from aquatic plants and animals for medicinal and nutritional values. It also undertakes studies on fish safety and quality assurance.
Oceanography and Hydrography
Research on physical, chemical, biological and geological oceanography of the offshore, inshore and near shore waters. Research on sustainable use and protection of aquatic resources in marine waters, critical habitats such as mangroves, seagrass beds and corals, monitoring and documenting the physical (including geological) and chemical characteristics (water quality, pollution and nutrient dynamics) of the various aquatic ecosystems to discern natural and/or human induced changes.
Research focus on establishing cost-effective methods for sustainable exploitation of the aquatic resources (and the environment) through promoting stakeholder participation including local communities. The department tracks the socio-economic impacts of research and management activities on food security with respect to fisheries; and undertakes studies on fish markets and supply channels for both processed and unprocessed products, evaluation of the economic viability of aquaculture including mariculture initiatives, and economic valuation of critical aquatic ecosystems.
Ongoing research projects
- Blue forest –upscaling mikoko pamoja Period: May 2015 to 31st March, 2019 Funded by UNDP/ GEF;
- Bycam – By catch assessment and mitigation in Western Indian Ocean Fisheries Period – 1st January, 2015 – 31st December, 2017. WIOMSA funding;
- I Coast (potential for climate compatible development in the coastal zone) Period: September 2013-September 2016. UK funded;
- Secure fish – Period: Start March 2012 to March 2017. EU funded;
- ESPA Space- Period: July 2013-Dec2016. UK funded;
Connectivity of Lutjanua argentimaculatus . Period: May 2015 to May 2017 IFS funded;
- Introduction of modified off-Botton culture system of seaweeds. March, 2015 to March 2016. NACOSTI funded;
- The occurrence and distribution of HABS in East and South Africa (BIOTOXINS Research Project) Period 2 years. NACOSTI funded;
- Mud crab Abundance and Dispersal Dynamics in inter tidal mangrove systems in Kenya. Period February 2016-february 2017. IFS funded;
- Sustainable Aquaculture – IORA member. Collaborators – Australia, Comoros, Kenya, Madagascar, Mauritius, Oman and Tanzania: Period 2015 – May, 2016. Australia funded;
- Some Aspects of Biology of pomacanthus species along the Kenyan coast. Period 1st July, 2015 to 30th June, 2016. WIOMSA funded;
- An evaluation of the impact of bait in the basket trap fishery along the Kenyan coast: Period July, 2015 to June, 2016. WIOMSA funded;
- Assessment of larval dispersal and connectivity. In threatened groupers populations along the East Africa coastline August 2015 to August 2016. IFS funded;
- Investigating land based nutrient enrichment in coastal lagoons, adjacent to urban and tourism center, Kenya. January, 2016 to December, 2016. WIOMSA funded;
- Atmospheric and Oceanographic conditions in the upwelling region associated with the (EACC) July, 2016 to June, 2018. WIOMSA funded;
- Effects of sea level rice to mangroves of Mwache Creek 1st July, 2014 to 30th June, 2015. WIOMSA funded;
- Mangrove Reforestation April, 2016 to August 2016. Funded by EFN/WWF;
- Coastal Ecosystems Services in East Africa (CESEA) duration 2 years. December, 2014 to December 2016. UK funded;
- Regional assessment of contamination in the marine environment. International Atomic Energy Agency and GOK funded;
- Documentation of coral reef status Period: September, 2015 to April, 2016. Funded by IOC- Mauritius;
- The role and value of seagrass beds in enhanced provision of Kenya’s coastal fisheries. January, 2016 – December, 2016. WIOMSA funded;
- Integrated approach to marine pollution monitoring estimated duration 4 years. Period from 2012 to 2016. International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA) and GOK funding;
- Assessing the impact of mollusc harvesting on their species composition and socio economic aspects along the Kenya coast. November, 2015- December 2016. IFS funded;
- Participatory Assessment of priority Fishery profile for and overfished urban inshore seascape in Kenya. Period July, 2015 – June, 2016. WIOMSA funded;
- Sedimentation Effects on root anatomy March, 2015 – August, 2016 WIOMSA funded;
- Marg II Research work and visit to University of surrey May, 2016 – August, 2016 WIOMSA funded;
- Value Addition to our produce formulation of sea weed bath soap in south coast of Kenya. January, 2015 to January 2017. NACOSTI funded;
- Shrimp Farming December, 2014 to December 2016. NACOSTI Funded.
Recently completed projects
- Artemia Project Period : Start 2010-End 2015 EU funded;
- Tana River Biotic Integrity November, 2012 to November 2014. IFS funded;
- Spear Fishing, Ecological and Socio-economic assessment of spear given fishing in Kenya Marine artisanal fisheries. Completed IFS funded;
- Fish Aggregating Devices (FADS) May, 2013 May 2015. NACOSTI Funded;
- Valve chain Mapping of South Coast Marine Fisheries in Kenya’s South Coast Period: July, 2014 to June, 2015 WIOMSA funded;
- Cage Culture of Seaweed Kappapphycus (Small Scale- intensive aquaculture) is it an answer for better yield compared to the traditional off bottom technique; Duration 1st July, 2014 to 30th June, 2015. WIOMSA funded;
- Regional Training Workshop on larval fish identification. And early life history science. July, 2015 to December, 2015. WIOMSA funded;
- Connectivity and Genetic Diversity of coral reef Ecosystem in Kenya. July, 2014 to June, 2015;
- Longline floating method of seaweed farming Period: June, 2013 June 2015. NACOSTI Funded.
Dr. Erick Okuku
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
Mombasa Research Center
P.O. Box 81651 - 80100
Phone: +252 (0) 20 2353226, (0)710 173393