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Human capacity

Hempel and Haslund (1997) have provided a comprehensive assessment of the state of marine science and science capacity in Angola. The Instituto de Investigacao Pesqueira (IIP) is the central institute for basic marine environmental and fisheries research. With a total staff of about 220, of which approximately 40 are university trained, IIP’s primary focus is on the monitoring, research and assessment of the fish resources per se. The environmental (oceanography) component of IIP comprises 14 staff members, engaged in various aspects of fisheries oceanography, environmental monitoring and pollution control. The policy of IIP is to increase the skill level of staff, and considerable success has been achieved through close collaboration with the Agostinho Neto University in Luanda and other SADC universities (e.g. University of Cape Town) as well as with universities in Europe, principally in Russia, Germany and Norway. Participation in IOC- sponsored and BENEFIT training initiatives is likewise proving to be beneficial. In spite of difficult operating conditions, with severe limitations in terms of equipment and infrastructure, IIP staff do not lack initiative and enthusiasm, and this bodes well for the future. Donor support from countries such as Norway, Germany and Sweden to strengthen human capacity has been and continues to be vital.

Namibia has a long tradition in marine science and technology, and following independence in 1990, the government has placed a strong emphasis on the training of Namibians and the development of local expertise. The Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) is the agency responsible for monitoring, research, assessment, management and control of living marine resources within Namibia’s EEZ. The monitoring, research and assessment component, which will be referred to loosely as “research” is headed by a Director based in Windhoek and with most research staff located in Swakopmund at the National Marine Information and Research Centre (NatMIRC). A smaller research group is based in Lüderitz. MFMR has a research and support staff complement of about 100 persons of whom approximately 40 have four-year or higher university qualifications. On paper the “environmental research” component comprises 9 research posts and two technical positions. Recent restructuring within the Ministry in order to strengthen capacity to address pressing fishery monitoring and assessment problems, has de facto resulted in a substantial shrinkage of the oceanography group, although the Ministry is evidently taking steps to redress this. The environmental group, although small, has since independence embarked on a comprehensive monitoring programme, and through close collaboration with, and with strong support from Norwegian and German scientists developed a high degree of competence. (This is reflected in the large number of reports and publications which have been produced by the oceanographers during recent years). Several of MFMR staff have post-graduate qualifications gained at overseas and SADC universities, and like IIP, MFMR has a strong education and training policy. The advent of BENEFIT is enabling further development of Namibian marine science capacity. The Ministry has wisely decided to make maximum use of remotely sensed marine environmental data, and is currently developing appropriate skills to utilise and interpret these. There remains, however, a shortage of technical posts and trained oceanographic technicians. The University of Namibia (UNAM) has a close association with MFMR and is keen to develop collaboration training courses in oceanography and fisheries science. UNAM does not yet offer post-graduate degree courses in marine science.

South African marine science celebrated its centenary in 1995, and can generally be considered as world class. The Marine and Coastal Management (MCM) of the Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, based in Cape Town has a total research staff complement of about 150, of whom approximately 50 are university graduates. The support staff comprise highly skilled engineers, technicians and technical assistants. All of the technicians possess formal technical qualifications (NDT oceanography) or similar – equivalent to a three year university degree). The majority of tdisciplinary fish-environment surveys. R. V. Kuiseb (19m). General purpose wooden vessel built in 1958, carries 4 scientists. A very basic replacement is under construction.
South Africa: F. R. S. Africana (78m). Modern all weather multi-purpose fisheries and oceanography research stern trawler built in 1981. Excellent laboratories. Carries 17 scientists. F. R. V. Algoa (53m). Converted commercial stern trawler, with similar capabilities, but on a lesser scale, to Africana . Carries 12 scientists. F. R. V. Sardinops (37m). Old (1958) research side trawler. Limited capability. Carries 4 scientists. The manning arrangements for South African research vessels are problematic.

Norway: R. V. Dr Fridtjof Nansen (78m). Modern multi-purpose fisheries stern trawler. Excellent. Carries 17 scientists. The vessel built in 1992 replaced the previous one of same name which had been operating in the South-east Atlantic since the late 1980s. This is probably the most versatile and useful vessel in the region and the cornerstone of fisheries research (surveys) off Namibia and Angola.

Germany: Although there is no German research ship dedicated to the region, Germany chartered a vessel in 1997 for the investigation of the Angola/Benguela front, and plans to charter vessels for work in the Benguela ecosystem again in the future.
(c) Equipment/Instrumentation
Except R. V. Goa
, R. V. Kuiseb and F. R. V. Sardinops, the research ships are well equipped and possess modern instrumentation and gear. In the case of South Africa much of the instrumentation has been locally developed (a result of sanctions) and has during the past five years become run-down as a consequence of shrinking budgets and increased operating costs. Shore-based laboratory facilities in terms of instrumentation and equipment in South Africa and Namibia range from adequate to excellent. The Angolan laboratories are generally poorly equipped, with very limited instrumentation. The supporting infrastructure is likewise totally inadequate. A satellite communication link with IIP in Luanda has recently been established.

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