SAIAB News » Healthy freshwaters fundamental for life on earth

Freshwaters are fundamental for life on earth. Fishes in rivers, reservoirs and lakes provide people with food security, employment and recreation. However, freshwater ecosystems in Africa and the fisheries that they support are under increasing pressure from overfishing and man-made stressors like loss of habitat, pollution, species invasions and climate change. To develop effective management strategies to sustain this important ecosystem service, it is essential to understand the ability of fisheries to survive these stressors. However, freshwater biodiversity remains poorly documented, understood and protected.

Species such as catfish could be important contributors to rural economiesStudents are inspired to study freshwater ecosystems under experienced scientistsInvasive carp are used by anglers on Lake Gariep

The DST/NRF Research Chair in Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Ecology was recently awarded to Dr Olaf Weyl, Principal Scientist in freshwater research at NRF-SAIAB. The overall goal of the Chair is to develop regional capacity and research on inland fisheries to support their sustainable development. 

Research priorities will include better understanding of the biology, ecology and resilience of African freshwater fishes; understanding fish invasions and providing research support for the ecological, social and economic sustainability of South African inland fisheries.

NRF-SAIAB’s scientific leadership and expertise in freshwater aquatic biodiversity is vital to the national interest when dealing with issues arising from rapid and consistently increasing pressures put on the environment by human population growth and development. The award of this Research Chair will give increased impetus to this important research area.

South African Research Chair Initiative   

MSc and PhD Research projects are on offer through the DST/NRF Research Chair in Inland Fisheries and Freshwater Ecology at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) in Grahamstown in 2018. Read more ...