Prof Vine champions participation of UFH Zoology and Entomology Department in Aquaculture Africa Magazine Online Focus Session

Read time: 3 mins

The UFH Zoology and Entomology Department was featured on the Aquaculture Africa Magazine (AAM) live online FOCUS session recently.

The AAM is a networking channel for aquaculture information on the African continent. It reports on a wide range of aquaculture topics including species, production systems, feed, aquatic disease, country matters, markets environmental impacts, projects, current events, employment and more.

The live 30-minute sessions comprise discussions with personnel and students from institutions that provide aquaculture training and research. The UFH session attracted participants from different parts of the world.

The UFH Team comprised the following:

  • Associate Prof Niall Vine

 Research and Academic Coordinator for Aquaculture

  • Dr Unathi Heshula

Deputy Dean: Teaching and Learning and Community Engagement,

Faculty of Science and Agriculture)

  • Dr Craig Tambling

Head of Department:  Zoology and Entomology

  • Ms Ziyanda Mzozo

PhD candidate

The session was facilitated by Mr Etienne Hinrichsen – Africa Aquaculture Magazine

A 20-minute video detailing the research and training programmes conducted and offered by the Department was shared with the participants. The clip showcases scenic views of the research sites and demonstrations of the training programmes. Eight(8)  postgraduate students spoke about their research, while Prof Vine gave an overview of the remarkable programmes that are offered by the department.

Key Partnerships and Collaborations

During his time at UFH, Prof Vine (Research and Academic Coordinator for Aquaculture) has established a number of key partnerships and collaborations with government, academic and industry partners.

“Depending on the role-player, these collaborations have helped to fund student bursaries, pay project running expenses or provide access to role player facilities for the students to conduct their research,”  said Prof Vine.

This includes a relationship with Kingfish Enterprise.  “As Fort Hare has a campus in East London, it was a no-brainer for me to nurture the relationship with the commercial aquaculture farm”.

Kingfish Enterprises is situated at the East London Industrial Development Zone (ELIDZ).  “The farm primarily focuses on producing yellowtail kingfish and dusky kob but also investigates a number of other marine specie,s including pacific oyster and abalone.”

“Based on signed MoU’s and funding from both the university and elsewhere, my research group has established the Fort Hare Aquaculture Research Unit where we can conduct research which is driven by the local aquaculture industry. Currently, all research conducted by my research group not only creates student graduation outputs but many of my students have published their research in major international aquaculture journals.   Students are also exposed to working on a commercial farm. This provides context of what it means to possibly pursue a career in aquaculture and enhances their academic exposure while adding to their technical skill set”, explained Prof Vine.

The presentation from the team was followed by a round of questions. Dr Heshula responded to questions around possible partnerships while Dr Tambling responded to questions on applying and enrolling to study for programmes offered by the department. Ms Mzozo (PhD student)  spoke about the benefits of being a student in the Zoology and Entomology department.

Watch the video here: