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The Biological Oceanography Unit was one of the five departments created in 1982 with the responsibility of research and training in marine ecosystems in Nigeria. The Unit hosts the UNIDO Centre of Excellence in Marine and Coastal Management and has consulted variously for UNIDO on mangrove reforestation and sustainable utilization.  Presently the unit has three active research groups viz;

Biological Productivity Research Group (Microbiology, Phytoplankton, Zooplankton and Benthos)

Fish Ecology Research Group (Fish Biology, Fish Population Dynamics, Fish Stock Assessment and Fishery Socio-economics)

Mangrove Ecology Research Group (Soil/Sediment, Vegetation, Wildlife, Fisheries, Socio-economics of mangrove systems)

Current research interests of the Unit include the following:

  • Trophic modeling of the Cross River Estuary system

  • Studies on fish and shrimp recruitment in  the coastal waters of Southern Nigeria through larval survey


  • Studies on the post-larval penaeid shrimps in the estuaries of Southeast Coast of Nigeria


  • Inter-annual variation in the catch rates of Macrobrachium fisheries in the estuaries of Southeast Coast of Nigeria


  • Ecology of the Black Tiger Shrimp, Penaeus monodon, an exotic shrimp species in Nigeria inshore waters


  • Microbial production and nutrient regeneration in the mangrove swamps systems



Dr. Ekpo Eyo Antai                                       Senior Research Fellow/Unit Head

Prof. Sieghard Holzloehner                          Professor

Dr. Udeme I. Enin                                          Reader

Dr. Ita O. Ewa-Oboho                                    Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Daniel E.  Ama-Abasi                             Senior Research Fellow

Dr. Francis M. Nwosu                                    Senior Research Fellow

Mr. Jack O. Showell                                       Chief  Technologist

Mr. Bassey  E. Job                                         Technologist I




The Fisheries and Aquaculture Unit has the responsibility for research and training in aquaculture production and management systems. The Institute takes the advantage of her strategic location within the coastal/maritime ambience of the Cross River State to promote research in the aquaculture practice of several local candidate species.  Through assistance from several funding and bilateral agencies including the FAO, EU, Educational Trust Fund (ETF), a complement of facilities have been set up within the institute which has resulted in the production of high level manpower in the subject. Current tasks of the Unit include the following:


o   To provide adequate facilities for high level training in aquaculture (PGD, M.Sc and Ph.D degrees)

o   To serve as reference point and resource centre for the solution of practical aquaculture problems.

o   To provide essential aquaculture inputs in fish feed and well-formulated and cost-effective diets.

o   To serve as reference centre for aquaculture matters to other tertiary and other institutions in the area/region.


The FAQ Unit currently runs programmes leading to the award of PGD, M.Sc. and Ph.D degrees in Fisheries and aquaculture in conjunction with the Department of Zoology and Environmental Biology of the University of Calabar.

Presently, there are about 15 Postgraduates students (PGD, M.Sc and Ph.D) attached to the unit for training in Fisheries and Aquaculture. There are also well over 100 undergraduate students relying on the facilities and expert supervision of the staff of the unit for the Bachelor of Science degree (B.Sc) in Fisheries and Aquaculture. The research groups within the Unit include:

                     Fin Fish/Shellfish and allied culture systems

                     Fish diseases and pathology

                     Fish Nutrition



1.                  Professor A. I. Obiekezie (Director, IOC)

2.                  Dr. Albert P. Ekanem (Senior Research Fellow/Head of Unit)

3.                  Dr. Paul J. Udo (Senior Research Fellow)

4.                  Dr. Paul O. Ajah (Senior Research Fellow)

5.                  Miss Philomena Asuquo (Assistant Research Fellow)

6.                  Mr. Antigha Antigha (Research Assistant)

7.                  Mr. E. G. Ekpo (Chief Technologist)

8.                  Mr. A. P. Ekpo (Chief Technologist)

9.                  Mr. Vincent Ojom (Technologist)

10.              Mr. Brendan Orim (Assistant Technologist)

11.              Mrs. Rita Chokpa (Assistant Technologist)

12.              Mr. Charles Ettagbo (Technical Officer)

13.              Miss Juliet Odu (Secretary)









Prof. Francis Emile Asuquo

Professor, Head

Prof. Effiom E. Antia


Dr. Ekom Robert Akpan


Mr. Jude Udom

Chief Technologist

Mr. Usen Asuquo Umana

Principal Technologist

Mr. Emmanuel S. Bassey


Ms Mabel Etuk





The Physical Oceanography unit of the Institute of Oceanography comprises of three research groups: Physical Oceanography, Marine Chemistry and Marine Geology. Given the increasing focus of humans and nations on the fast opportunities, health and resources of the ocean, the challenges before the Physical Oceanography unit is enormous as far as the East Central Atlantic Ocean specifically the Gulf of Guinea is concerned. The activities of the research groups are as follows:



The research activity involves the investigation into the Hydrography, river-estuarine flow structure, interaction between atmosphere-ocean interfaces, identifying and measurement of oceanographic processes (waves , tides and surface currents) and the modeling and prediction of these processes as they influence the marine and nearshore ecology of the Gulf of Guinea. The empirical, descriptive as well as the theoretical aspects of estuarine flow patterns, sensitivity index mapping and shoreline sensitivity index ranking of the Nigerian coastal marine system are emphasized.



Research activities in the Marine Chemistry group focus on determining the water quality index, pollution and the impacts of climate change on coastal oceanography of the Gulf of Guinea. Emphasis is placed on the complex interactions between water-biota, water-sediment and sediment-biota inter-relationships. The biogeochemistry and production of coastal waters, tracer oceanography (in relation to marine pollution by radionuclides) and observational oceanography are also areas of major research activity and concern.



Research focuses on the study of the complex geomorphologic structures of the Nigerian coastline, investigations of the sedimentary structure, mineral deposits, processes and geological phenomena in the Gulf of Guinea, by using  the knowledge of the present to reconstruct past geological conditions. Attention is also focused on the impacts of waves and tides on the nearshore marine environment of the Gulf of Guinea.                   






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Last modified: 09/05/10