An assessment of benthic biodiversity of Walter’s Shoal

Principal Investigator: Toufiek Samaai

Our understanding of species, communities and connectivity of seamounts, especially that of Walter’s Shoal, along the Madagascar Ridge is inconsistent, and this precludes any attempt at high seas management of biodiversity. This project aims to assess the biodiversity on Walter’s Shoal, that will not only add to the understanding of how seamount communities are structured and function, but also aid in the identification of priority areas for protection within the high seas.

This project hopes to develop local experience in seamount ecology and deep-water research within the participating institutions and will empower researchers to support improved Vulnerable Marine Ecosystem management.


Dr Toufiek Samaai (DEA)
Dr Sven Kerwath (DAFF)
Dr Albrecht Gotz (SAEON Elwandle Node)
Dr Mark Gibbons (UWC)
Dr Henning Winker (UCT)
Dr Kerry Sink (SANBI)
Dr Anthony Bernard (SAEON Elwandle Node)
Dr Lara Atkinson (SAEON Egagasini Node)
Dr Steve Kirkman (DEA)
Dr Hans Verheye (DEA)
Dr Wayne Florence (IZIKO)
Prof. Savel Daniels (Stellenbosch University)