Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean 5-Volume Publication

Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean 5-Volume Publication

NRF-SAIAB hosted the official online book launch of the digital version of the 5-Volume Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean at its annual Smith Memorial Lecture on 29 September 2022, attracting an audience of 120 participants globally. 

Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean follows the fine tradition of producing multi-authored, illustrated volumes on fish diversity pioneered by Margaret Smith and Phil Heemstra with Smiths’ Sea Fishes. This multi-volume work took 25 years to complete and involved more than 100 authors, photographers and illustrators from many parts of the world.

The book is divided into five volumes and its primary purpose is to aid in identifying about 3 500 species of fishes that occur in the coastal waters (to about 200 m) of the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). The latter covers the Red Sea, Persian/Arabian Gulf, to Kanyakumari, India, in the east; west to Cape Point, South Africa; and south to St Paul and Amsterdam Islands at 38° S. The book has generated renewed interest worldwide in the diversity of coastal fishes in the WIO.

The launch was opened by NRF DCEO National Research Infrastructure Platforms Dr Clifford Nxomani and chaired by NRF-SAIAB Managing Director, Dr Angus Paterson. Also present was DSI representatives including Dr Gilbert Siko Director: Marine and Polar Research, Palaeosciences representing the Director General of the DSI, Dr Phil Mjwara. The keynote speakers being the book’s editors Dr Peter Nick Psomadakis FAO consultant and NRF-SAIAB Research Associate; NRF-SAIAB Research Associates, Wouter Holleman and Dr Dave Ebert Director – Pacific Shark Research Center.

The five PDF volumes are available for download on the NRF-SAIAB website. SAIAB showcased the publication in an exhibition at the 12th WIOMSA Symposium in Gqeberha/ Port Elizabeth, South Africa from 10-15 October 2022. Each of close to 800 delegates attending the Symposium received a USB card containing the full 5-volume set of the Coastal Fishes of the Western Indian Ocean.

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