Research Platforms

pic by Kim Bernard pic by Berny Snow
pic by Ryan Palmer ROV being used on the training course. pic Sean Bailey

African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme
The African Coelacanth Ecosystem Programme (ACEP) is a flagship programme of the National Research Foundation and the Department of Science & Technology. ACEP is the largest inter-institutional, multi-disciplinary marine programme in South Africa.

SAIAB plays the key interface role between researchers and the various research platforms available e.g. research ships, Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs), genetic laboratories, wet collections, dive teams etc.


SAIAB hosts the Agulhus & Somali Currents Large Marine Ecosystems (ASCLME) Project. ACEP forms South Africa’s key-in-kind, co-funding contribution to ASCLME. ACEP undertakes the majority of Agulhas current research and provides cruise co- ordination for the entire programme.

SAEON Elwandle Node
SAIAB also hosts the coastal (Elwandle) Node of the South African Environmental Observation Network (SAEON). Existing partnerships with SAEON are being strengthened through projects involving researchers from both the Conservation Biology & Ecology and Molecular Biology & Systematics groups with emphasis on the Sundays River catchment and Algoa Bay.

The synergies in hosting both the ASCLME Project and SAEON Elwandle Node are highly significant and position the Institute as an international and regional centre for SWIO marine research.