Research Activities and Developments in the Units


Administrative Structure:

These are

  • Biological Oceanography Units
  • Physical Oceanography Units and
  • Fisheries and Aquaculture Units each of them with Unit Heads.




Biological Oceanography (BOC) Unit:

The Scientists and Technologists of the Biological Oceanography Unit, have actively participated in teaching and research during the years under review. This could be attested to by their strong representation at various national and international academic fora, including conferences, workshops and seminars.


The Head of Unit, Dr. Francis M. Nwosu, represented Nigeria at a UN-CBD capacity building workshop on Sustainable Ocean Initiative held in Dakar, Senegal in February, 2013. Dr. Nwosu, a member of Fishery GIS Society, also attended the 6th International Symposium of the Society held in Florida, USA in August 2014. Dr. Daniel Ama-Abasi attended the International Symposium on Tilapia in Aquaculture in Jerusalem Israel in 2013.  Prof. Sieghard Holzlӧhner attended the Fisheries Society of Nigeria Conference at Abuja in November 2013. Staff of the Unit participated fully in the Institute of Oceanography’s Conference on Oceanography held in November 2013 (Ocean Calabar 2013), including holding the positions of Chairman and Secretary of the Local Organizing Committee (LOC).


Staff members of the Unit are strongly participating in the teaching and supervision of students in the various programmes run by the Institute and other Departments of the University of Calabar, including Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Fisheries and Aquaculture Postgraduate Diploma (PGD) in Coastal Zone Management, B.Sc Marine Biology, B.Sc Fisheries and Aquaculture, and Diploma in Marine Science. Very soon, a PGD programme in Marine Ecology, Toxicology and Pollution (MTP) will be approved for the Unit.


On other academic matters, Prof. U. I. Enin, Dr. E. E, Antai and Mr. Jack Showell are currently visiting Scholars at the Akwa Ibom State University, while Mr. Godwin A. Otogo returned to the Unit after successfully completing an MSc degree at the University of Aberdeen, Scotland. Staff members of the Unit have represented and are serving the Institute and the University of Calabar in many committees, including the committees on establishing the Faculty of Marine Science, B.Sc. in Marine Science, University Time Table, Entrepreneurship, Research Africa, Faculty Quality Assurance, etc.


With adequate motivation and resources, the Unit hopes to improve on its contributions on the various academic and administrative aspects in the IOC and Unical within the coming years, including field-based activities. The Unit is coordinated by Dr. Francis M. Nwosu (Senior Research Fellow).



Physical Oceanography (POC) Unit




















At inception, the Institute of oceanography was structured into five departments comprising Physical Oceanography, Biological Oceanography, Chemical Oceanography, Geological Oceanography and Fisheries and Aquaculture. In 2006, following the reorganization of research institutes in the university, the Departments of Physical Oceanography, Geological Oceanography and Chemical Oceanography were collapsed to form the Physical Oceanography Unit. The physical oceanography unit is one of the three administrative units of the Institute of Oceanography. The Unit comprises the major research and teaching areas of marine physics, marine geology and marine chemistry.


Research Thrust

The unit’s current research effort is on the physicochemical, hydrographic and geological studies on the Great Kwa and Calabar River systems both of which drain through the city of Calabar and its environs. Monthly monitoring programme on the rivers were instituted since 2012 and are ongoing. Currently the monitoring programme is funded from staff contributions. Preliminary results of investigations have been presented in internal seminars and conferences.


Academic Support Programmes

The unit offers academic and research support to postgraduate and undergraduate programmes of the Institute of Oceanography including post graduate diploma programmes in Integrated Coastal Zone Management, Fisheries and Aquaculture and the Diploma in Marine Science.


The unit currently drives the Diploma in Marine science Student’s Field work experience, which exposes the students to oceanographic survey techniques, data analyses, interpretation and report writing. It also drives the Field Course for the Post Graduate Diploma in Coastal Zone Management which exposes the students to multiple coastal zone issues, conflicts and management using the Atlantic Coastal Environment off Ibeno in Akwa Ibom State.


The unit supports the institute and other related faculties of the university in areas water quality training and assessment. In this regard, the unit participated in the training of Niger Delta Amnesty Candidates on Water quality Management in Aquaculture systems in 2013 and currently supports the Water quality management needs for the WAAPP Aquaculture component of the World Bank Project.


Research Laboratory

The unit manages the Central Research Laboratory of the Institute located within the Institute’s building. The Central Laboratory was set up in March, 2012. It consists of a 'wet' laboratory and a 'dry' instrument room. Since its establishment, the laboratory has facilitated the research work of project students from various faculties and disciplines in the University of Calabar, as well as project students from other tertiary institutions outside Calabar. The lab currently boasts capabilities in the areas of physiochemical, bacteriological and plankton analysis.


The wet lab is equipped with a modern fume cupboard, oven, incubator, refrigerator, assorted portable meters, autoclave, furnace, and some ancillary equipment for microbiology, biology, and wet chemistry analysis. The instrument room is equipped with analytical microscopes (included inverted plankton microscope), UV-visible spectrometer, precision weighing balance, and other ancillary equipment for plankton, and benthic analysis.


The competence and experience of the lab personnel is multifarious. However, their capabilities, and application is limited by the absence of high end equipment such as Atomic Absorption Spectrometer, and Gas Chromatograph for heavy metals and hydrocarbons analysis. The erratic nature of power (due to insufficient fuel supply for generator) and water supply to the lab also constitutes a major constraint.




Fisheries and Aquaculture (FAQ) Unit



















The FAQ unit formerly known as FAQ department was created in 1982 and saddled with the responsibility of research and training of high caliber manpower for the aquaculture sector in Nigeria. On the basis of the strategic location of the University within the coastal/maritime ambience of the Cross River State with its abundant fisheries and water resources, it has been the policy of the University of Calabar, over the years, to promote fisheries and aquaculture research as a defined programme of research study within the Institute of Oceanography. Through this effort and those of bilateral agencies such as the European Union, the FAO etc, a complement of facilities been set up within the institute for research and training in Fisheries and Aquaculture, which had resulted in the production of high level manpower for the unit. Presently the unit is saddled with the following responsibilities:


 To provide adequate facilities for high level training in aquaculture (PGD, M.Sc and PhD degrees)

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

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

 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 PhD 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 PhD) 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.

Presently, the FAQ Unit is operating with the following sub-units:

 Fin Fish/Shellfish and allied culture systems

 Fish diseases and pathology

 Fish Nutrition



Diploma in Marine Science

In the course of the two years DMS students are exposed to basic swimming lessons for which certificates of proficiency are given. In addition, Field trips focused on exposure to Marine science techniques are integral components of their course requirements. A major component of this diploma programme is the Industrial Attachment/Research project carried out in the Institute of Oceanography Fish Farm. Here the students are groomed in all aspects of Fisheries and Aquaculture development and management.



Post-Diploma Prospects

On graduation, the students are qualified for admission into related bachelor programmes in the university. Departments that are currently taking students of the programme include Zoology and Environmental Biology, Physics (Geophysics) and the Faculty of Agriculture. We also look forward to future collaborations with other environmental – related departments such as the Environmental Protection and Resource Management, Geology, and Genetics and Biotechnology.


Fish Farm Report 2013 - 2014

The fish Farm was established by 2004 to support the research and practical component of FAQ staff and students particularly and the University of Calabar in general. The IOC fish farm witnessed a period of very low activity with the expiration of TET Fund sponsorship in 2010. Three quarters of the fish farm was leased out to Jones and Stokes for 8 years including a 1 year moratorium period on agreement with the University of Calabar, Nigeria by May 2013.

Components of the fish farm leased out include the following:


• 75 percent of the Fish Farm, Hatchery, and Reservoirs, Earthen ponds (Excluding ponds 1-22 reserved for research and training).

• Farm buildings, Feed Mill, Land for expansion, one standby generating set.

• The remaining one quarter of the farm is now left and managed by the Institute of Oceanography (IOC).


The fish Farm was established in 2004 to support the research and practical component of FAQ staff and students particularly and the University of Calabar in general. The IOC fish farm witnessed a period of very low activity with the expiration of TET Fund sponsorship in 2010. Three quarters of the fish farm was leased out to Jones and Stokes for 8 years including a 1 year moratorium period on agreement with the University of Calabar, Nigeria by May 2013.


The remaining one quarter of the farm is now left and managed by the Institute of Oceanography (IOC). What is left as structures in the farm for management by Institute of Oceanography after leasing is the Administrative building in which only about 4 staff are accommodated. A good number of staff including the Administrative Assistant have no office space in the farm.

Recently, a small hatchery building which is funded by WAAPP is being constructed. On completion, the building will provide a breeding facility and space for grow out of fingerlings for distribution to fish farmers within the region to achieve the objective of the World Bank which is the funding agency.





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