The state of marine science in South Africa

The state of marine
science in South Africa
PW Froneman
Rhodes University
•Number reports exist on the state of marine research in
South Africa.
•SANCOR estuaries programme
•South African Southern Ocean Research programme
•SANCOR occasional reports
•Many outdated/regionally/discipline biased and thus
provide little support/indication of the current
state of marine research in South Africa.
•Questions thus arise of where should SANCOR be
focussing its future research and how it can
address any perceived weaknesses within the
marine science community.
•Current study was commissioned by NRF (covered the
period 1994-2008).
•Study was conducted by Scherman Colloty and Associates
Tertiary groups & affiliated institutes
Government & Parastatal
Albany Museum
Cape Nature
Cape Peninsula University of Technology (Oceanography)
Council for Geosciences - Marine Geosciences Database
Nelson Mandel Metropolitan University
Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR)
Oceanographic Research Institute / South African Association for Marine Department of Science & technology (NRF/RISA)
Biological Research
Department of Water Affairs (RDM & RQS)
Rhodes University
Eastern Cape Parks Board
South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity
Ezemvelo – KZN Wildlife
University of Cape Town
MCM / Oceans & Coasts / DAFF
University of Fort Hare
Natal Museum
University of Johannesburg / ECON&UJ
Portnet (Transnet)
University of KwaZulu-Natal
River Health Programme - Provincial Technical Teams (Estuaries)
University of Pretoria - Mammal Research Institute & CWMS
South African Biodiversity Information Facility (SABIF)
University of Stellenbosch (incl CREST)
SANBI Marine Programme
University of Zululand
South African National Parks Board
Walter Sisulu University
Water Research Commissions
14 tertiary/research
15 Governmental/parastatal
Programmes & Networks
African Coelacanth Programme
AfrOBIS (Ocean Biogeographic Information System)
Agulhus / Somali Current Large Marine Ecosystem Programme
Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem Programme
Cape Action Plan for People & the Environment
Consortium for Estuarine Research and Management (CERM)
Eastern Cape Research Association for Marine Researchers (ECRAM)
KwaZulu-Natal Marine and Coastal Management Research Group (KZN-MRG)
Marine and Coastal Educators Network (MCEN)
Marine Linefish Research Group (MLRG)
River Health Programme - Provincial Technical Teams (Estuaries)
South African Environmental Observation Network
South African Marine Linefish Management Association (SAMLMA)
Companies & NGO's
Birdlife International
EnviroFish Africa
Ocean Planet
Ocean Research Africa / Biotech
Ocean Research Conservation Africa (ORCA)
World Wildlife Fund
•Total of 45914 citations /documents were
reviewed during the study of which 9568
were marine and coastal related.
•During the study, the following data bases
were populated:
•Total/type of publication
•Geographic variability
•Gender contribution
•Cohort contribution
•34% of publications appeared in peer reviewed
•72% of the peer reviewed publications appeared in
ISI accredited journals.
•Strong preference for local journals (e.g. South
African Journal of Marine Science (African
Journal of Marine Science), South African
Journal of Science, African Journal of Aquatic
Science, African Journal of Zoology).
•Book/book chapters contributed < 1% of the total
number of publications per annum.
•Significant increase in production of “grey literature”
•Changes in environmental legislation
• Management reports
•Need to disseminate information in popular press.
Social Sciences
Findings of the current study are broadly in agreement
with similar studies conducted in South Africa (e.g. Dieb
& Gevers, 2009).
Significant increase in total number of peer reviewed
articles over period of study.
Natural sciences still strongest discipline within marine
research (54% of all publications).
Strong regional differences in output/postgraduate
students (dominance by Western Cape and KwaZuluNatal).
Little evidence in support of emergence of new
generation of young researchers.
Some progress with respect to transformation
◦ Increase in contribution of woman and HDI in outputs
Thank you