Updated 09/11/22

International Research Network-South (GDRI-Sud)

2019 - 2022

Ivory Coast, Kenya, Mauritius, Namibia, Senegal, South Africa, Tanzania



It is estimated that by 2030 world fish consumption per capita will increase on all continents with the exception of Africa, because human population is growing faster than the fish offer on this continent. This raises food security issues due to the high prevalence of undernutrition in the region and the importance of fish in the total protein intake in many African countries.

As aquaculture is the fastest growing food production sector, global aquaculture production today exceeds that of fisheries in order to meet the growing demand of the world's population for aquatic protein. Based on inland aquaculture, Africa accounts for only 2% of global aquaculture production despite the great potential and significant expansion of its aquaculture industry. Thus, although it is the second largest continent, Africa is currently one of the lowest marine aquaculture producers in the world, despite its considerable potential for food security.

Coral breeding in Mauritius.

© Nadeem Nazurally


In this context, the objective of GDRI-Sud AfriMAQUA is to bring together research teams in the field of marine aquaculture in West Africa (Senegal, Ivory Coast), Southern Africa (Namibia, South Africa), East Africa (Tanzania, Kenya, Mauritius) and actors from UMR MARBEC (France) in order to exchange knowledge, pool research efforts and strengthen research capacity. At this stage, four convergent and priority research themes have been identified in AfriMAQUA, based on an ecosystemic approach to aquaculture,  contributing to the development of a blue and sustainable economy, and respecting ecosystems and their biodiversity:

  • Control of the biological cycles of species of aquaculture interest
  • Establishment of a healthy and sustainable diet for the species produced
  • Development of ecosystem-friendly livestock farming systems
  • Improvement of the welfare and health of organisms and livestock systems



AfriMAQUA will promote the integration and active participation of students (masters and PhDs) and young researchers. They will benefit from training workshops, distance learning and exchange grants in laboratories within the network. Synergies within the network will make it possible to respond to regional and international calls for projects. Special attention will be given to disseminating the results produced by the consortium members to scientific, governmental and industrial actors as well as to civil society.

  • AfriMAQUA's missions in 2021
    •   Mission Namibia - South Africa / Martin Tjipute / September 2021: lecturer-researcher at University of Namibia (UNAM) who works with the Department of Forestry, Fisheries and the Environment (DFFE) in South Africa in order to complement his professional background in marine aquaculture, to gain new knowledge and skills on  fish-farming Argyrosomus japonicus, a species bred in South Africa, so that he can develop the farming of Argyrosomus inodorus in Namibia.
    © Martin Tjipute - Ponte de poissons transférée dans un incubateur
    © Martin Tjipute - Fish spawning transferred into an incubator


    • Mission Ivory Coast - South Africa / Kouassi Sylvain Konan / October 2021: the researcher at Centre de Recherches Océanologiques (CRO) in Ivory Coast works with the DFFE in South Africa in order to learn the  larval rearing techniques for the South African fish Pomadasys commersonnii. This will prove useful for the development of the breeding protocols of a sister species, Pomadasys jubelini, which has been identified as the candidate for aquaculture diversification in Ivory Coast.


    • Mission Kenya - South Africa / Miriam Wainaina / November 2021: the researcher at Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) works with the DFFE in South Africa, in order to learn microbiology and molecular biology techniques to study microbial communities located in the gastrointestinal tract of aquaculture farming organisms, which will contribute to the development of surveillance and management capacities of aquaculture health in Kenya.
  • Research projects funded by AfriMAQUA for 2021-2022
    • Project on sea urchin farming: assessment of the somatic growth and gonad enhancement of sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla farmed in Mauritius. Collaboration University of Mauritius (Mauritius), DFFE (South Africa), University of Cape Town (UCT) (South Africa) and UMR248 MARBEC (France).
      The goal of this project is to develop protocols and farming techniques for the sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla in semi-enclosed marine systems in Mauritius, by assessing the somatic growth of this species in local conditions through the optimisation of the farming algae Ulva sp. and Sargassum spp. in an existing integrated system (lagoon mariculture in a buoyant cage) and determining the effects of various algae-based diets on the formation, the quality and the improvement of gonads.
    © Brett Macey - Miriam Wainaina: analyse du taux d’infection de l’oursin de mer Tripneustes gratilla par Vibrio anguillarum
    © Brett Macey - Infection rates analyses of the sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla by Vibrio anguillarum.


    • Projects on the fish Siganus sutor's nutrition by using macroalgae:
      • Comparative assessment on growth performance of hatchery cultured juvenile Siganus sutor fed on marine macroalgae and a commercial fishmeal-based feed. Master's degree project mentored by David Mirera of Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) (Kenya) and Samwel Limbu of University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania).
        The objective of this project is to identify the seaweed that is most consumed in a natural environment by the fish species Siganus sutor and to analyze their proximal composition in order to formulate a source of nutrition made out of this algae. The impact of this food on the growth of Siganus sutor hatchery cultured will be compared to the one obtaimed from a fishmeal-based feed.
      • Comparison of the growth performance of rabbit fish Siganus sutor farmed in intertidal earthen ponds fed a Eucheuma denticulatum seaweed-based feed. Master's degree project mentored by David Mirera of Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) (Kenya), Maria Darias of UMR248 MARBEC (France) and in collaboration with University of Dodoma (UDOM) (Tanzania).
        The objective of this project is to study the growth and survival of Siganus sutor, a herbivorous fish that is important to human consumption in the occidental part of the Indian Ocean, fed with a feed that includes various percentages of the algae Euchemia denticulatum, which is largely cultured in East Africa where it is dried and exported.



Scientific coordination: Maria DARIAS, UMR248 MARBEC.



GDRI-Sud - French National Research Institute for Sustainable Development (IRD).

Additional funding

The GDRI-Sud AfriMAQUA has been granted additional funding by the National Research Foundation (NRF) for 2022-2024, covering South Africa specifically, and by extension Southern Africa. It will help to fund more training activities as part of the research group benefitting South african partners.

Southern Africa scientific representative : Brett Macey, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Cape Town.



Stay updated on AfriMAQUA by checking out the dedicated website and social platforms: AfriMAQUA Twitter and AfriMAQUA Facebook.

Discover also the project LIMAQUA:

Learn more about GDRI-Sud and other international collaboration tools: