New offshore research capacity in WIO and SA: Research Vessel ANGRA PEQUENA ~ SEA QUESTS

July 25th, 2014 No comments

Sea Quests are pleased to announce that we have installed a new high-speed high-capacity (1.5 MT lift, 400m wire) hydraulic winch aboard R/V Angra Pequena. This significantly extends the vessel’s ability to support offshore research and marine training.


R/V Angra Pequena is a 72 foot vessel capable of deployment of standard marine research instruments and equipment such as ROVs, CTD, plankton nets, sonar and scanners, BRUVS, and sediment grab samplers, as well as providing a good platform for diver surveys and deck-based observational studies. At 99 tons displacement she can carry and deploy heavy equipment. She is thus suitable for oceanographic and benthic research as well as training in offshore marine science techniques. M.Y. Angra Pequena is able to work close inshore in shallow waters, as well as far offshore and in deep habitats. She has a fuel range of over 3000 NM and can stay at sea comfortably for over 30 days. She has a crew of 5 and can accommodate 10 passengers.

R/V Angra Pequena is operated by SEA QUESTS, whose primary goal is to support research, training and conservation expeditions that build knowledge and awareness of our oceans and contribute to sound decision-making and management policies. Sea Quests is keen to partner with others to support our goal of helping to protect the oceans

This vessel offers a particularly good opportunity for the marine science and conservation community in that she is a cost-effective and more flexible alternative to the traditional “big ships” which are often not available or affordable. Moreover, she has a proven record as a research platform.

SEA QUESTS RV Angra Pequena 2014

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A new paper on ‘Genetic structure of the reef grouper Epinephelus merra in the West Indian Ocean’ is out!

July 25th, 2014 No comments

A paper “Genetic structure of the reef grouper Epinephelus merra in the West Indian Ocean appears congruent with biogeographic and oceanographic boundaries” by Delphine Muths, Emmanuel Tessier & Jerome Bourjea, has been published in the Marine Ecology. Its abstract is attached below:

The reef fauna connectivity of the West Indian Ocean (WIO) is one of the least studied globally. Here we use genetic analyses of the grouper Epinephelus merra (Bloch 1793) to determine patterns of connectivity and to identify barriers to dispersal in this WIO marine area. Phylogeographic and population-level analyses were conducted on cytochrome b sequences and microsatellites (13 loci) from 557 individuals sampled in 15 localities distributed across the West Indian Ocean. Additional samples from the Pacific Ocean were used to benchmark the WIO population structure. The high level of divergence revealed between Indian and Pacific localities (of about 4.5% in sequences) might be the signature of the major tectonic and climatic changes operating at the Plio-Pleistocene transition, congruently with numerous examples of Indo-Pacific speciation. In comparison, the E. merra sequences from the Indian Ocean constitute a monophyletic clade with a low average genetic distance (d < 0.5%). However both genetic markers indicated some structure within this ocean. The main structure revealed was the isolation of the Maldives from the WIO localities (a different group signature identified by clustering analysis, great values of differentiation). Both marker types reveal further significant structure within the WIO, mainly the isolation of the Mascarene Islands (significant AMOVA and isolation-by-distance patterns) and some patchy structure between the northernmost localities and within the Mozambique Channel. The WIO genetic structure of E. merra appeared congruent with main biogeographic boundaries and oceanographic currents.

Citation: Muths, D., Tessier, E., & Bourjea, J. 2014. Genetic structure of the reef grouper Epinephelus merra in the West Indian Ocean appears congruent with biogeographic and oceanographic boundaries. Marine Ecology (2014) 1–15. doi: 10.1111/maec.12153

Job Opportunity: Project Manager

July 15th, 2014 No comments

BirdLife International is seeking to recruit an enthusiastic and experienced individual for the position of Project Manager, Lake Victoria Basin Project whose main responsibility will be to manage and coordinate the implementation of the Lake Victoria Basin project, build strategic alliances with stakeholders/institutions operating within the Basin and fundraise to scale up project interventions.

Download the full announcement

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‘Summer school’ on reef natural/social heritage in Madagascar

July 15th, 2014 No comments

The Fisheries and Marine Science Institute of Madagascar (IH.SM) and the Institute of Research for Development (IRD) are organizing a multidisciplinary, francophone research school in Tulear (Southwest of Madagascar) from October 20 to the 29th of October 2014 on the theme of the vulnerability of reef heritage. Read the full text of the call for participation in this event.

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A Consultancy For The Mid Term Review Of The Kenya Coastal Development Project

July 11th, 2014 No comments

Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute on behalf of the Government of Kenya, is inviting expressions of interest to under a Consultancy for the Mid Term Review of the Kenya Coastal Development Project.

The deadline for submission of Expression of Interest is 18 July 2014.

Download the full announcement.


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African Young Scientists Summer Program: Applications Due 3 August!

July 10th, 2014 No comments

The Southern African Young Scientists Summer Program (SA-YSSP) offers doctoral candidates the opportunity to develop research skills in systems analysis and its application to policy and management. The program takes place in South Africa from 1 November 2014 to 31 January 2015. Apply by 3 August 2014.

For more information, please visit

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July 8th, 2014 No comments

Kenya Wildlife Service Training Institute invites suitably qualified practitioners to apply for the above six (6) weeks residential and intensive course commencing on 15th September, 2014 to 24th October, 2014. This is a Ramsar Convention endorsed training designed for middle level managers/practitioners who are actively involved in management of wetlands, with at least a National Diploma or its equivalent in any of these areas: Conservation Biology, Wildlife, Fisheries, Environmental Science, Natural Resource Management, Water Resources Management, Land Use Planning, or their equivalent

Download the announcement and the application form.

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Conference on Building Capacity and Developing Policy African Maritime Domain

July 5th, 2014 No comments

The Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University (NMMU), at the request of the African
Union (AU), and the International Ocean Institute – Southern Africa (IOI-SA) together
with the South African Maritime Safety Authority (SAMSA) are organizing a Conference on Building Capacity and Developing Policy African Maritime Domain, to be held in Nelson Mandela Bay, South Africa from 10 to 12 November 2014.

Download the first announcement

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A consultancy on “Economic Valuation of Climate Change Impacts on the Western Indian Ocean’s Coastal Areas”

July 4th, 2014 No comments

WWF Madagascar invites proposals to undertake a consultancy on “Economic Valuation of Climate Change Impacts on the Western Indian Ocean’s Coastal Areas”.

Attached please find the Terms of Reference for the consultancy, which specifies the documents that should be included in the proposal.

Offer comprising of technical and financial proposal, in separated envelopes, should be sent to  or at the following address – no later than 15 July 2014 at 5.00 p.m local time. Address: WWF MWIOPO, Près Lot II M 85 ter, Antsakaviro, Antananarivo 101, Madagascar Reference:“AO-027/2014 – Economic Valuation of CC”

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A paper on ‘Seagrass importance for a small-scale fishery in the tropics’ is out

July 3rd, 2014 No comments

A new paper by Maricela de la Torre-Castro, Giuseppe Di Carlo and Narriman S. Jiddawi on ‘Seagrass importance for a small-scale fishery in the tropics: The need for seascape management’ has been published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin.

The main highlights from the paper are:

  • The importance of seagrasses, mangroves and corals for fisheries was analyzed.
  • Seagrasses provided highest fish catches and income at community level.
  • Fish catch and income were about the same for all three ecosystems per capita.   However, regardless of fishing habitat used, the population remained in poverty.
  • A management shift is needed to integrate seagrasses into seascape management.

Full citation: de la Torre-Castro M, Di Carlo G. NS Jiddawi. 2014. Seagrass importance for a small-scale fishery in the tropics: The need for seascape management. Marine Pollution Bulletin, 83 (2014) 398¬-407.