KMFRI Sangoro aquaculture research centre

Sang’oro Aquaculture Research Station, which was officially opened on 5th December 1984 is located in Kisumu County, approximately 70 km from Kisumu City along Katito – Homa-Bay road near river Sondu Miriu (Fig. 1). The main objective of the Sang’oro fish farm is to investigate new and adoptive culture species and techniques for enhanced fish production in ponds, tanks, and raceways, through cage and pen culture. Its mission is to facilitate production of adequate warm water fingerlings for farmers and promote appropriate fish farming methods through dissemination of appropriate technologies with a vision of becoming a regional centre of excellence that avails quality warm water fish seeds and credible aquaculture information.

Sang’oro station has 18 earthen ponds, 19 liner ponds, 6 concrete holding tanks and 12 asbestos tanks. Notably, the station has a hatchery which is equipped with a quarantine tanks, spawning tanks, larval rearing tanks, nursery tanks and holding tanks for fingerlings.

Sang’oro Aquaculture Centre practices integrated fish farming whose objective is to optimize profit by recycling nutrients generated by various agricultural units. 
Integrated fish farming consist of fish production unit that is involved with rearing of oversize fingerling to market size; poultry unit that provides manure for pond and meat for revenue generation; Hatchery unit that forms the fish seed production unit dealing with active propagation of tilapia, catfish and goldfish and larval rearing of the same. The unit also handles preparation and packaging of fingerlings for transport to the farmers; research unit conducts fish farming trials geared toward improvement of fish farming technologies. It also offers technical advice within and outside the station.

Aquaculture Activities
Seed production (African Catfish Mass Production)
The aquaculture program at Sang’oro station involves research and mass production of warm water fishes. The station’s stronghold is in catfish propagation where both artificial and semi-artificial methods are employed. In semi-artificial method, mature broodstock (both gravid female and ready to spawn male) are injected with a hormone and placed together with a ready to spawn male in a tank or hapa in a ratio of 1:1. Spawning usually takes place at night and the breeders are removed the following morning. The eggs are then left to incubate and hatch after 36-48 hours depending on temperature. In artificial methods, induction of ovulation is done using Ovaprim hormone which is injected intramuscularly near the dorsal fin of a ripe and mature female fish as the males are sacrificed for the milt.

Males-only Tilapia Production 
The station is involved in production of male-only tilapia through sex reversal by administration of male-hormone. In this method, eggs are collected from the females’ mouth on a bi-weekly basis and incubated in the hatchery. Newly hatched tilapia fry are fed a diet containing methyltestosterone from 2 days after yolk sack absorption to produce all male population.

Gold fish (Carrasius auretus)             Swordtail (Xiphophorus helleri

Ornamental fish production
Ornamental fish e.g. gold fish, sword tail and haplochromines are produced and sold from Sangoro station.

Feed Production
Sang’oro station is currently involved in commercial fish feed production. Fish feeds are formulated by mixing several ingredients to make a balanced diet. These ingredients are grounded separately and later mixed to ratios before pelletizing to produce floating pellets, which are dried and stored in gunny bags. Excess feeds are sold to farmers at affordable costs. The feed ingredients include: Ochonga (Caridina nilotica), Omena, Wheat or rice bran, Sunflower or cotton seed cake and cassava for binding. The formulated diets include 40%  crude protein for starter mash and 28% crude protein for growers pellets. Special ornamental fish feed (with colour enhancing ingredients) e.g. green pepper, carrots and kales are also available.


Potential of decapsulated artemia on larval development of African catfish (Clarias gariepinus)

Summary of the project
Clarias gariepinus is a popular species for aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa, with fry readily produced in captivity using the hypophysation technique. In Kenya, larval survival of C. gariepinus has always been a challenge to the culture of these species. Many times hatchery operators use fertilized water which is assumed to contain adequate live feeds for the initial feeding period, this however is unpredictable in terms of quantity and diversity of the zooplanktons in the nursery water. Secondly, formulated diet in as much as it might contain high protein content may be not be suitable for the fish at the larval stage.   Decapsulated Artemia cysts have been successful for larval rearing of C. gariepinus in addition to other feeds .This paper aimed to compare the growth of C. gariepinus larvae fed decapsulated Artemia, and formulated diet

Effect of Replacing Marine Protein with hydrolyzed Feather meal on growth, digestibility and body composition of Oreochromis mossambicus (Peters, 1852).

Summary of the project
The experiment focused on producing alternative sources of protein for aquafeeds in Kenya. With the aim of reducing cost of production in aquaculture considering feeds comprise 60% of the cost of production in aquaculture. The main objective is to evaluate the effect of replacing marine protein (shrimp shell meal and fish meal) with hydrolyzed feather meal on the growth of tilapia.

The effects of protein, lipid, feeding levels and their interaction on growth, biological parameters and haematology of monosex Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus L.) 

Summary of the project
Fish feed accounts for over 50of the total cost of fish production and is a major constraint to fish farming in resource poor regions. Protein usually is the most expensive nutrient yet it is also the most important factor affecting growth performance of fish. Majority of fish feeds contain fish or shrimp meal as the main source of dietary animal protein. Major source of fishmeal being the ever diminishing capture fishery, the sustainability of the aquaculture sector is questioned. The sustainability of the aquaculture industry cannot be achieved unless progressive reduction of wild fish inputs into fish feed is addressed. Research shows that dietary protein is poorly utilized when there is inadequate non-protein energy in the diet because good amount of protein is metabolized to generate energy which can lead to excessive ammonia excretion into the environment consequently affecting water quality. the aim of the present study was to investigate the protein-sparing action by dietary lipids in warm-water species.

Photo showing mature broodstock, injection, stripping and incubation of the fertilized eggs


Mapping the value chain for farmed fish and gender analysis along the aquaculture value chain in Kenya

Summary of the project
Aquaculture expansion in Kenya has been accompanied by a gradual shift from extensive to semi-intensive culture systems. However, the value chain of the sector has not yet been mapped and the key players have not been clearly identified. Therefore, the value chain performance of the Kenyan aquaculture industry is not well understood. Value chain analysis has been proved to be a useful means to assess gender performance in different systems. However, there has been no documented information on gender participation along the aquaculture value chain in Kenya. Understanding gender means understanding opportunities, constraints and the impacts of change as they affect both men and women. Therefore, the aim of the current study is to map the value chain for farmed fish in Kenya, describe the main actors and stakeholders and determine gender roles within the chain, as a case study for further global inference.

The Impacts of Fish Farming Enterprise Productivity Programme (FFEPP) on Aquaculture Development and Livelihood Improvement in Western Kenya

Summary of the project
Many governments and development agencies have targeted aquaculture as an instrument for poverty reduction and promoted the development of small-scale aquaculture through project based interventions in Sub-Saharan Africa. However, there is a lack of convincing empirical evidence to support the efficacy of this type of interventions. Although support to aquaculture project is widely held to contribute to both poverty reduction and food security, evidence for this is patchy.  The results of these initiatives have been mixed and attempts to promote pro-poor aquaculture in regions where it has not been traditionally practiced, have encountered important obstacles. For instance, Dey et al. (2006) reported that successes from subsidised aquaculture are often short-lived since after support is terminated, fish farming activities are often discontinued or production levels drop back to pre-funding levels, which both should be avoided. An assessment of the success or failure of government funded projects is hampered by a lack of post-project evaluations. Recent studies have recommended that more evidence needs to be collected on the impact of the Economic Stimulus Programme within the Western region and the overall impact that fish farming on rural communities.  Given this context, it is necessary to assess the effectiveness and efficacy in the implementation of the FFEPP programme and its impacts on the livelihoods of riparian fisheries dependent communities. The main objective of the study is to evaluate the impacts of FFEPP on aquaculture development and livelihood improvement of farmers and fishers within the intervention areas in Western Kenya.


What we do/provide 







Provision of fingerlings

A formal request

Kshs. 5/fingerling



Provision of fish pellets

A formal request

Kshs. 80/kg



Provision of fish starter mash

A formal request

Kshs. 120/kg



Provision of Goldfish

A formal request

Kshs. 50/inch



Provision of swordtail

A formal request

Kshs. 20/pc



Net hire

A formal request

Kshs. 500/day



Provision of technical advice for aquaculture development

A formal request





A formal request

At a cost



Educational visits

A formal request

Kshs. 2,000/visit

2 weeks


Student attachments & bench space

Application letter

At a cost

2 weeks


Water quality analysis

A formal request

Kshs. 300/parameter/sample

2 weeks

Station Coordinator:-

Dr. Kevin Obiero 
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
Sangoro Aquaculture Research Station
P.O.Box 136- 40111 
Tel: +254 (0) 20 2082518
Pap Onditi, KENYA

Contact us

The Chief Executive Officer
Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute
P.O. Box 81651 - 80100
Mombasa, KENYA

Tel:  +254 (20) 8021561 or 712003853
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