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Grahamstown, South Africa

The South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity , is involved in research, education and in applications of its knowledge and research to African fish fauna, for either economic or conservation benefit. The institute was formerly named the JLB Smith Institute of Ichthyology, in honour of Professor James Leonard Brierley Smith, who named and described the living coelacanth Latimeria chalumnae.Situated in Grahamstown, South Africa, SAIAB houses the largest fish collection in Africa, which from 2007 is housed in a specially built facility. The collection of over 880,000 items is accessible through a computerised database, and includes specimens of the unique Coelacanth.The SAIAB library houses the largest collection of fish-related publications in the southern hemisphere, supported by a computerised database which is also distributed on compact disc. SAIAB's digital image collection is accessible from its Web site. Wikipedia.

Tweddle D.,South African Institute For Aquatic Biodiversity
Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management | Year: 2010

The Zambezi River has a catchment area of 1.32 million km2, including parts of eight countries. Three divisions of the river are recognised: the Upper Zambezi separated from the Middle Zambezi by Victoria Falls, and the Lower Zambezi below Cahora Bassa gorge. The Okavango River is also linked to the Upper Zambezi system in wet years in an area of complex geomorphological history. Habitats include forested headwater streams, extensive floodplains, deep gorges, two large man-made lakes and an extensive delta. On floodplains, subsistence fisheries exploit the natural seasonal cycles, while the man-made lakes have commercial-scale fisheries for introduced kapenta, Limnothrissa miodon. Aquaculture is on a small scale, though with larger commercial cage culture enterprises on Lake Kariba. This paper summarises current knowledge on the fish faunas and their origins, the status of the different fisheries and their management, and the conservation status of the river's resources. © 2010 AEHMS. Source

Whitfield A.K.,South African Institute For Aquatic Biodiversity | Panfili J.,IRD Montpellier | Durand J.-D.,Montpellier University
Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries | Year: 2012

This study reviews published information on Mugil cephalus from around the world, with recent genetic studies indicating that the flathead mullet may indeed be a species complex. Disciplines that are covered range from the taxonomy, genetics and systematics, through a variety of biological and ecological attributes, to biomarker and fisheries studies. The eurytopic nature of M. cephalus is emphasized, with the migratory life history covering a succession of very different aquatic environments (e. g. rivers, estuaries, coastal lakes/lagoons, marine littoral, open ocean), each of which is occupied for varying lengths of time, depending on the population characteristics within a region and the life-history stage of the species. Interpretation of these movements over time has been greatly enhanced by the use of otolith micro-chemistry which has enabled scientists to map out the different habitats occupied by individual fish at the different life stages. The range of physico-chemical attributes within these environments necessitates a wide tolerance to differing conditions, especially with regard to salinity, turbidity, dissolved oxygen and temperature, all of which are discussed in this review. The importance of M. cephalus to the ecological functioning of coastal systems is emphasized, as well as the pivotal role that this species fulfills in fisheries in some parts of the world. The parasites range from internal trematode and cestode infestations, to external branchyuran and copepod parasites, which use M. cephalus as either an intermediate or final host. The value of the flathead mullet as a biomarker for the monitoring of the health of coastal habitats is discussed, as well as its potential as an indicator or sentinel species for certain ecosystems. © 2012 Springer Science+Business Media B.V. Source

Potter I.C.,Murdoch University | Tweedley J.R.,Murdoch University | Elliott M.,University of Hull | Whitfield A.K.,South African Institute For Aquatic Biodiversity
Fish and Fisheries | Year: 2015

This study refines, clarifies and, where necessary, expands details of the guild approach developed by Elliott et al. (2007, Fish and Fisheries 8: 241-268) for the ways in which fish use estuaries. The estuarine usage functional group is now considered to comprise four categories, that is, marine, estuarine, diadromous and freshwater, with each containing multiple guilds. Emphasis has been placed on ensuring that the terminology and definitions of the guilds follow a consistent pattern, on highlighting the characteristics that identify the different guilds belonging to the estuarine category and in clarifying issues related to amphidromy. As the widely employed term 'estuarine dependent' has frequently been imprecisely used, the proposal that the species found in estuaries can be regarded as either obligate or facultative users of these systems is supported and considered in the guild context. Thus, for example, species in the five guilds comprising the diadromous category and those in the guilds containing species or populations confined to estuaries are obligate users, whereas those in the marine and freshwater estuarine-opportunistic guilds are facultative users. © 2013 John Wiley & Sons Ltd. Source

Elliott M.,University of Hull | Whitfield A.K.,South African Institute For Aquatic Biodiversity
Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science | Year: 2011

For many years, estuarine science has been the 'poor relation' in aquatic research - freshwater scientists ignored estuaries as they tended to get confused by salt and tides, and marine scientists were more preoccupied by large open systems. Estuaries were merely regarded by each group as either river mouths or sea inlets respectively. For the past four decades, however, estuaries (and other transitional waters) have been regarded as being ecosystems in their own right. Although often not termed as such, this has led to paradigms being generated to summarise estuarine structure and functioning and which relate to both the natural science and management of these systems. This paper defines, details and affirms these paradigms that can be grouped into those covering firstly the science (definitions, scales, linkages, productivity, tolerances and variability) and secondly the management (pressures, valuation, health and services) of estuaries. The more 'science' orientated paradigms incorporate the development and types of ecotones, the nature of stressed and variable systems (with specific reference to resilience and redundancy), the relationship between generalists and specialists produced by environmental tolerance, the relevance of scale in relation to functioning and connectivity, the sources of production and degree of productivity, the biodiversity-ecosystem functioning and the stress-subsidy debates. The more 'management' targeted paradigms include the development and effects of exogenic unmanaged pressures and endogenic managed pressures, the perception of health and the ability to manage estuaries (related to internal and external influences), and the influence of all of these on the production of ecosystem services and societal benefits. © 2011 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Connell A.D.,South African Institute For Aquatic Biodiversity
African Journal of Marine Science | Year: 2010

Pelagic eggs of marine fish were collected weekly from shelf waters at Park Rynie on the KwaZulu-Natal south coast from 1987 to 2007 to investigate seasonal and annual patterns in the abundance of sardine Sardinops sagax eggs. After a sudden appearance in June each year, sardine eggs were found persistently throughout the winter-spring period before disappearing in early summer. From changes in the cross-shelf distribution of eggs, it is inferred that sardine shoals are close inshore in June, as they arrive in KwaZulu-Natal waters from the south, then the shoals disperse offshore and thereafter return inshore before their return migration southward in early summer. The period 2001-2007 yielded significantly fewer eggs than the previous 14 years of the study. © NISC (Pty) Ltd. Source

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