By Dr. Melckzedeck K. Osore
Asked what was going through his mind as he hoisted high a copy of the Kenya Aquatica to formally launch the Journal, Hon. John Safari Mumba, Chairman of the KMFRI Board of Management responded that his memory flashed back to 1979 when the Institute was started. He felt greatly honoured to be unveiling the Kenya Aquatica Volume 4, Issue no. 1 during the Blue Economy Conference.
“Acknowledged in the eastern Africa region as the Centre of Excellence in innovative research on marine and fisheries, KMFRI takes pride in reporting results far and wide to various stake holders”, he said.
Hon. Mumba added, “In the mid-1980s, KMFRI started publishing in-house reports known as Aquatica, which highlighted aspects of the institute ranging from emerging results from field research, outcome of training undertaken by staff in research and administration as well as welfare issues of its employees”.
He said that in October last year, the Director of KMFRI appointed a team of scientists and tasked them with two clear deliverables namely: 1) to revive the old KMFRI in-house journal and 2) to transform it into a reputable international journal that will attract scientific papers not only nationally but also regionally in eastern Africa and globally.
“In the course of its mandate, the team constituted an Editorial Board comprising mainly staff from KMFRI and Pwani University. The Board is expected to be reconstituted into a more regional and global membership base soon”, Said the Chairman.
In September this year, KMFRI celebrated the revival of the new look Kenya Aquatic complete with its own International Standard Serial Number (ISSN) and Barcode. The inaugural Volume 4, Issue no. 1 of 2018 comprises of papers presented during the Conference of Kenya Coastal Development Project (KCDP), which was organised and hosted by KMFRI in Voi Town. Most of the lead authors in this Volume are beneficiaries of KCDP scholarships and other grants that supported research on water resources and environmental sustainability; engineering technology and innovation; agriculture, aquaculture and biotechnology; marine resources and fisheries.
“ Kenya Aquatica will be published biannually to provide an avenue for KMFRI researchers and partners to disseminate knowledge generated from research conducted in the aquatic environment of Kenya and resources therein and adjacent to it. This is in line with KMFRI’s mandate to undertake research in marine and freshwater fisheries, aquaculture, environmental and ecological studies, and marine research including chemical and physical oceanography”, concluded Hon. Mumba.