Special projects


A Handbook


Gertjan de Graaf and Johannes Janssen

The African catfish, Clarias gariepinus, has been reared for almost 20 years in Africa with mixed success. Since the early 80's both authors have been involved in the development of suitable husbandry techniques and the propagation of African catfish. This handbook is a compilation of several training manuals written by the authors for several projects in Congo-Brazzaville, Central African Republic, Nigeria and Kenya. This handbook deals with the artificial reproduction and pond rearing of the African catfish in Sub-Saharan Africa and aims to provide up-to-date information on production methods that have proved to be reliable in the field.

This manual has been prepared as an easy-to-read guide for the reproduction and grow out of the African catfish (Clarias gariepinus). It has a practical orientation and includes the latest developments. It was written for extension officers and university aquaculture students.

This is the original FAO Fisheries Technical Paper. No 362, Rome, FAO. 1996. 73 p. it is out of stock, therefore we provide the opportunity to download/read the original text.

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A training manual on the use of Geographical Information system in fisheries.

FAO. 2003. Geographic Information Systems in fisheries management and planning.Technical manual, by G. de Graaf, F.J.B. Marttin,J. Aguilar-Manjarrez & J. Jenness. FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No. 449. Rome. 162p.


Many fishery biologists and policy makers involved in inland fisheries management and planning are unaware of GIS technology and its potential for fisheries planning and management. The FAO Inland Water Resources and Aquaculture Service (FIRI) has been active for the last 19 years in promoting the use of GIS and remote sensing in fisheries and aquaculture. Promotional activities have been carried out through training, projects, field missions, and oral presentations and publications. However, a manual to use along with GIS software for the fisheries biologists in the field explaining GIS in a way that is understandable to non-GIS users had not been produced until now. This manual was written to overcome this knowledge-gap, it is a “do-it-yourself” manual giving a short introduction to GIS software and its applications in fishery science.

The overall objective of this manual is to encourage fishery managers to use this tool (GIS) to foster the sustainable use of natural resources. The manual is aimed at fisheries biologists, aquatic resource managers and decision makers in developing countries who have no knowledge about GIS. The manual was written for use with ESRI’s ArcView 3.x and Spatial Analyst software.

There are five main sections in the manual:

· GIS concepts and functions and key tools provided by ArcView 3.x,

· Geographic coordinate system and map projections,

· Raster data and analysis,

· Regression analysis, and

· Application case studies.

All sections are accompanied by exercises that have been designed to illustrate key applications of GIS in inland and marine fisheries management. Also, a custom-designed ArcView grid regression extension is included to show the integration of GIS with surplus production models.

At the end of the training with this manual, the reader should be able to: apply learned principles and GIS to their own professional situation, perform analyses on their own data, be aware of the vast possibilities that GIS can provide and be able to communicate with GIS expert counterparts.

The manual is useful for a broad range of fishery applications. However, this manual by no means covers all possibilities of GIS, it merely touches upon some of the most important features for fisheries management and planning. Download/read


Floods Fish and Fishermen


Gertjan de Graaf, Bram Born, AM Kamal Uddin & Felix Marttin

Floodplain fisheries are a major aquatic common property resource in Bangladesh. However, the modification of the floodplains into croplands and the increasing number of people who were fishing the remaining waters seriously endangered this valuable ecosystem. During the Flood Action Plan in the early '90s a number of studies were carried out which examined the impact of water management on fisheries.The Compartmentalisation Pilot Project or FAP 20 is a water management project implemented from 1991 until 2000 and was financed by the Governments of Bangladesh, the Netherlands and Germany. Fisheries were a major component of the project and were thoroughly monitored from 1992-2000 The major results were presented in a final report (CPP, 2000) but it was felt that the results obtaiCover of Floods, Fish and Fishermenned and
experiences gained on fisheries in the CPP project went beyond the original scope of the program for CPP. Some of them are of importance for inland fisheries in Bangladesh and tropical floodplain fisheries in general and were not covered in the final report. This book presents more detailed information on the different methods applied, results obtained and insight gained on floodplain fisheries in Bangladesh.
The book presents the results of a number of analytical fisheries methods such as: habitat stratified fisheries monitoring, the use of Geographical Information Systems in fisheries, surplus production modeling and length-based fish stock assessment. These methods are not commonly used in Bangladesh. Therefore the book should be of interest to fisheries scientists, students and policy planners involved with floodplain fisheries management and poverty alleviation.

Gertjan de Graaf is a fisheries biologist and worked the last 35 years in tropical aquaculture and fisheries Since the early '90s he has worked in a number of fisheries projects in Bangladesh. In 1992 he became the fisheries advisor of CPP, set up and supervised the program until the end in 2000. At present he is senior
fisheries consultant with NEFISCO Foundation in Amsterdam (the Netherlands)

Bram Born is a fisheries biologist. He joined the project in 1994. From 1996 till 1998 he worked for FAO on culture based fisheries systems and inland fishery enhancement. Presently he is working as fisheries biologist at the Charles Darwin Research Station on the Galapagos Islands in Ecuador.

A.M. Kamal Uddin is a fisheries biologist and joined CPP from 1992 till 1996. At present he is fisheries advisor with the Center of Natural Resource Studies (CNRS) in Bangladesh.

Felix Marttin is a fisheries biologist who joined CPP in 1998 till the end of the project in 2000. He is currently working at FAO headquarters in Rome on inland fisheries enhancements

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The Value of African Fisheries

de Graaf, G. & Garibaldi, L. 2014.The value of African fisheries.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular. No. 1093. Rome, FAO. 76 pp.

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The “The value of African fisheries” study was carried out in the framework of the New Partnership for Africa’s Development (NEPAD)-FAO Fisheries Programme (NFFP) funded by the Swedish International Development Cooperation Agency (Sida). The aim was to estimate the contribution to national and agriculture Gross Domestic Products (GDPs) and the employment generated by the whole
fisheries sector, defined as including inland and marine capture fisheries, post-harvest, licensing of local fleets, and aquaculture.

Information was provided by 42 experts from the 23 countries (more than 40 percent of all African States) collaborating in the study. To obtain indicative figures for the entire continent, data from the sampled countries were analysed and calibrated to extrapolate values for the non-sampled countries,
which were classified into separate groups for marine fisheries, inland fisheries and aquaculture according to their geographical location or productivity.

The value added by the fisheries sector as a whole in 2011 was estimated at more than US$24 billion, 1.26 percent of the GDP of all African countries. Detailed figures by subsector highlight the relevance of marine artisanal fisheries and related processing, and also of inland fisheries, which contribute onethird of the total catches in African countries. Aquaculture is still developing in Africa and is mostly
concentrated in a few countries but it already produces an estimated value of almost US$3 billion per year. As data on licence fees paid by foreign fleets were not easily available to the national experts participating in this study, an attempt was also made to estimate the value of fisheries agreements with Distant Water Fishing Nations (DWFNs) fishing in the exclusive economic zones of African States.
Considering that 25 percent of all marine catches around Africa are still by non-African countries, if also these catches were caught by African States in theory they could generate an additional value of US$3.3 billion, which is eight times higher than the current US$0.4 billion African countries earn from fisheries agreements.

According to the new estimates produced by the study, the fisheries sector as a whole employs 12.3 million people as full-time fishers or full-time and part-time processors, representing 2.1 percent of Africa’s population of between 15 and 64 years old. Fishers represent half of all people engaged in the sector, 42.4 percent are processors and 7.5 percent work in aquaculture. About 27.3 percent of the
people engaged in fisheries and aquaculture are women, with marked differences in their share among fishers (3.6 percent), processors (58 percent), and aquaculture workers (4 percent).



Garcia, S.M.; Allison, E.H.; Andrew, N.J.; Béné, C.; Bianchi, G.; de Graaf, G.J.; Kalikoski, D.; Mahon. R.; Orensanz, J.M. Towards integrated assessment and advice in small-scale fisheries: principles and processes.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper. No. 515. Rome, FAO. 2008. 84p

The document presents the principles and processes for integrated assessment and advice in small-scale fisheries. The first chapter discusses failures of conventional assessment and management approaches. Chapter 2 presents the conceptual origins and principles of integrated assessment of small-scale fisheries. The framework is then introduced and places the assessment within the broader planning and management cycle. The final chapter discusses the implementation of the IAA framework.

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de Graaf, G.J., Nunoo, F., Ofori Danson, P., Wiafe, G., Lamptey, E. & Bannerman, P. 2015. International training course in fisheries statistics and data collection.
FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Circular No. 1091. Rome, FAO. 134 pp

Knowledge of the status and trends of capture fisheries, including socio-economic aspects, is key to sound policy-development, better decision-making and responsible fisheries management. Inventories of national data collection systems carried out by the FAO FishCode–STF Project indicated that main problems/challenges in the fisheries monitoring system are: (i) a lack of human and financial resources; (ii) a lack of capacity/knowledge in fisheries monitoring at local level; (iii) a lack of appropriate, cost-effective data collection systems; (iv) a lack of reliable, adequate and accurate information; and v) gaps in data collection, processing and analysis. Capacity building in data collection and fisheries statistics is a high priority for the FAO FishCode–STF Project. Therefore, FAO in collaboration with the Department of Oceanography and Fisheries of the University of Ghana, Accra, developed the International Training Course in Fisheries Statistics and Data Collection.

The primary objective of the course is to illustrate sampling methods for improving routine data collection, which can provide the desired precision of estimates at the lowest possible cost and yet possess a higher degree of accuracy. The design techniques are based on international standards, illustrated with the collection of fisheries statistics and analysis from the region. The specific objectives are: (i) to introduce basic concepts of the importance of fisheries information; (ii) to introduce international standards and concepts in fisheries data collection; (iii) to introduce the basic concepts of sampling and design of routine fisheries data collection schemes; (iv) to introduce basic concepts of statistical data analyses; (v) to introduce basic concepts of data storage and dissemination; and (vi) to provide practical issues and examples relevant to fisheries statistics and data collection.

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Harvesting Tilapia in Congo Brazzaville
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