The Margaret Smith Library at the South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB) is a valuable national and international resource for the study of both marine and freshwater fishes, and fisheries and aquaculture. There is a strong focus on Africa. The library resources and services, shared with Rhodes University Library, primarily support research and teaching at both SAIAB and the University. The Library is also open for research to staff, students and visitors from similar university departments and ichthyology and fisheries institutes worldwide.

Fish collection

The fish collection, housed in the SAIAB, represents the largest collection of southern African fish anywhere in the world. It is the largest fish collection in Africa and the second largest in the southern hemisphere.

Experimental Facilities

The Department has a fully operational freshwater recirculating fish farm and a marine fish hatchery on its premises. The Department has six temperature-controlled labs, five of which are used for marine and freshwater fish culture, and one for the production of rotifers and Artemia. 

Aquaponics Tender Application

Port Alfred Marine Laboratory

The facility consists of a series of recirculating systems. The Port Alfred lab is used for our work on the south east coast line fisheries and for marine fish culture. These are occupied and run by students on a full time basis.


The Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science has two 4X4 and two 4X2 vehicles, 60 HP fibreglass and inflatable boats, and various laboratory equipment (e.g. microKjeldahl, muffle furnace, drying ovens). More sophisticated equipment such as flame spectrophotometers, HPLC, electron microscopes (SEM and TEM) is shared by several departments within the Faculty of Science and Pharmacy.

Molecular Research

Molecular research is carried out in partnership with SAIAB who run a fully equipped genetics research laboratory. Read more about this here.