UNIVERSITY OF NAIROBI
FIELD ATTACHMENT REPORT
AT KENYA MARINE AND FISHERIES RESEARCH INSTITUTE –
KISUMU JULY 7, 2017 – SEPTEMBER 1, 2017
fulfillment of Field Attachment for the award of the degree
BSc. FISHERIES AND
structure of KMFRI. 1
KMFRI – KISUMU CENTRE
is located to the west of Kisumu town on the Winam Gulf of Lake Victoria. It
was established as one of the centres for the East Africa Freshwater Research Organization
prior to its breakup in 1977. It later assumed its role after the enactment of
the Science and Technology (Amendment) Act in 1979. Kisumu centre was tasked
with conducting research and coming up with management recommendations that
were essential for the national exploitation of marine and freshwater
The center runs a
number of research activities in fisheries, aquaculture, environment, ecology
and socio-economic activities.
Management structure of KMFRI
KMFRI is headed by a
Director, who has four Deputy Directors who are in charge of marine and coastal
systems, freshwater systems, finance and administration, and aquaculture. There
are other ten assistant directors under the Deputy Directors, who are in charge
of Marine Fisheries, Oceanography and Hydrography, Freshwater Fisheries,
Limnology, Socio-economics, Mariculture, Freshwater Aquaculture, Supply chain
Management, Finance and Planning, Administration and Human Resource, and
Information Communication Technology.
KMFRI-Kisumu centre is
headed by the Deputy Director (directorate of freshwater systems) as the centre
director who is deputized by the Assistant Director freshwater fisheries.
As stated under KMFRI’s
Strategic Plan 2016 – 2020, the following are the set objectives:
conduct innovative, demand-driven and relevant research in aquatic ecosystems
disseminate research information and innovative technologies to stakeholders
undertake research on promotion of investments in the Blue economy
increase community participation and promote outreach programs
mobilize financial and human resources to implement KMFRI’s core functions and
development research infrastructure
strengthen institutional structure and capacity, and
To promote local and international
collaborations and partnerships.
apply the theories and skills acquired in a real work environment
get expose to technologies which are not available in the University
familiarize with the current trends in work environment and what to expect.
build the student’s strength, teamwork spirit and self-confidence
To develop skills in data gathering, analysis
There are four major research sections in
KMFRI-Kisumu Centre. These include Chemistry Lab, Biology Lab, Microbiology Lab
and Aquaculture section.
This section is
responsible for the collection of samples and analysis of various water quality
parameters. Some of the most commonly analyzed water quality parameters are
alkalinity, water hardness, total dissolved solids, total suspended solids,
chlorophyll ‘A’ and nutrients in a sample.
During the attachment
period, the student was taken through all the above analysis procedures, guided
by the Chemistry Lab Manual for standard procedures. The results obtained from
the various procedures done by the student were as follows:
Analysis of water
hardness using pond water and aquarium water
of water sample (ml)
Burette reading of EDTA solution (ml)
Burette reading of EDTA solution (ml)
of EDTA added (ml)
Table 1: Titration
results for water hardness test
(mg/L) were then calculated as follows;
Hardness for Aquarium
Hardness for Pond water
= 46 mg/L
These results were then
compared to WHO standards for water hardness.
Degree of Hardness
<61 Soft 61-120 Moderately hard 121-180 Hard >180
Table 2: Water hardness
And from this, both
Aquarium water and Pond water were found to be soft.
Alkalinity for the same
water sample was also done as per the Chemistry Lab standard procedures and
results were recorded as shown in Table 3 below.
Volume of Sample used (ml)
Volume of HCL used (ml)
Table 3: Titration
results for alkalinity test
Using the factor 20,
alkalinity was calculated as follows:
Alkalinity for aquarium
Alkalinity for Pond
(silicates, total phosphorus, soluble reactive phosphorus, ammonium, total
nitrates and nitrites), chlorophyll ‘A’, total dissolved solids and total
suspended solids were among other test that the student was taken through. In
addition to that, the student also did prepare standards (solution/ingredient
of high purity) and preparation of mixed reagent which was used in total
phosphorus and soluble reactive phosphorus analysis.
The student also got to
learn how to operate some of the equipment in this lab such as the
spectrophotometer, cadmium reducing column, autoclave, analytical balance and
In this Lab, the
student, with the guidance of the lab technician, did the following:
Introduction to Biology Lab
The student was tasked
with the identification of certain fish species. One of the common fishes in
Lake Victoria, commonly known as Red-Brest tilapia/ngege, was identified and
described as shown Table 4 below:
Table 4: taxonomy of
juveniles feed on planktons, adults feed mainly on higher plants and algae,
insects and crustaceans. They are mainly found in freshwater, brackish water
and/or benthopelagic habitats.
Meristic and Morphometric
Meristic was described
as and morphometric described as
measurement. These are important parameters in taxonomy.
There are four basic
eating groups among fish; carnivores, herbivores, omnivores and limnivores.
These are the meat eating fish. They
feed on smaller fish, and other organisms such as worms, mosquito larvae, fruit
flies and shrimps. They do not damage plant life. Carnivores can be fed on
supplements in form of flakes or granules and pellets for added nutrition.
These are fishes that feed on plants.
Recommended food for these type of feeders are cucumber, peas, potatoes,
vegetable flakes and algal flakes.
These feed on both herbs and meat. They
are veracious eaters, their eating frenzy can be easily mistaken for hunger.
They are also known as mud-eaters. They
feed mainly on algae and micro-organisms in the aquarium/pond. These group of
fish are constantly eating and can be given pellets and algae based food.
Collection, observation and
identification of phytoplankton and zooplankton
They were described as the autotrophic
components. Most of them are too small to be seen, however, when present in
high enough numbers, some varieties may be noticeable as colored patches on
water surface. This is attributed to the presence of chlorophyll within their
cells and accessory pigment.
Phytoplankton obtain energy through the
process of photosynthesis, therefore, live in the well-lit surface layer/
euphotic zone of an ocean, sea or lake.
For the purpose of experimentation, some
sample water were collected from a fish pond and placed in different petri
dishes. The specimen was then stained using lugal solution and observed under a
compound microscope (×40). The figure below shows some of the observed and hand
1: Phytoplanktons identified in the pond water sample
These include the group of animals
suspended in water with limited power of locomotion. They are usually denser
than water and constantly sink by gravity to lower depths. Fresh water
zooplanktons include protozoans, rotifers and two subclasses of crustaceans,
cladocerans and copepods.
To collect/sample zooplankton, the
following materials are required;
Tow nets/zooplankton net
5% Formalin/70% ethanol
From the shore, cast the zooplankton net
in to the lake
Slowly pull the net through the water as
it is retrieved
The collected sample is then poured into
the glass containers then preserved using 5% formalin/70% ethanol
Soft bodied forms require special handling.
After collection, the samples were
observed and recorded/drown as shown in the figure 2 below;
Figure 2: Ostracods
the first day in this lab, was given an overview of various methods used in
micro-organism analysis, media types and categories, types of sterilization and
media preparation procedure.
the media were prepared as per
Aquaculture section is
composed of the aquariums and the fish ponds. During the attachment period,
more focused was put on the aquarium section. The student was enlightened on
the theories about aquarium before embarking on practical work. Aquarium was
defined as any vivarium with at least one transparent side used for captivity
of aquatic organisms. Aquariums were
divided into two major categories;
Balanced Aquarium – these depicts the
natural environment of aquatic organism.
Supported/Supplied/Controlled Aquarium –
these are supplemented with accessories to resemble the natural environment of
Gravel – acts as the bottom or as a media which
supports growth of plants
Hideouts – these are used by fish to reduce
Lighting system – this is important for
photosynthesis, geological cycles and visibility
Plants (Artificial/Natural) – natural plants
acts as food while the artificial ones are meant for aesthetic value.
Background paper for beauty
Heaters – this is used to keep the water above
Air pumps/aerators – to maintain supply of
dissolved oxygen in the water
Canopy/Lid – used to prevent high jumpers from
jumping out, predators from entering, reduces rate of evaporation and prevent
entry of dust in to the aquarium
The student was also taken through
care and maintenance of aquarium, which was also classified into two
Aquarium walls were cleaned using sponge
and water siphoned out by the help of a hose pipe, and then de-chlorinated
water was added from the reservoir tank. This partial cleaning was done to
improve water quality.
This involves overall cleaning of the
aquarium tank with the exception of the stock. To do a complete cleaning of
aquarium tank, the following material are required; sponge, scouring steel,
sand, scoop net, bucket and pipes.
Using a hose pipe, some water were
siphoned from the aquarium tank into the bucket ensuring that the sand is
pushed to one side of the tank
The scoop net was then used to transfer
the fish from the aquarium into the bucket of water
Accessories in the aquarium tank were
removed and washed separately
The walls of the aquarium tank were
scrubbed using sand and scouring steel
After which it was rinsed several times
until the water became clear
It was recommended that no detergents
was to be used in cleaning any aquarium tank.
Water was then added from the reservoir
tank and left to mature for 8 hours.
Construction of glass
With the guidance of
the Lab technician, the student constructed a glass aquarium. Materials used
for the construction were; 9mm thick glass, silicon gun filled with silicon
sealant, masking tape, liquid detergent, sharpening stone, diamond glass
cutter, turpentine and a working bench.
glass was placed on a working bench and cleaned thoroughly
a 1 m ruler, different measurements of the glass were taken (90×50 mm for the base
and 50×48 mm for the height) and marked
line was then made along the marks using the diamond glass cutter with
glass pieces were joined together temporarily using a masking tape
were then fixed, at 45o, using silicon sealant at the edges
detergent was then used to smoothen the edges. Then left for 48 hours to dry
drying up, the tank was then filled with water to check for leaks and to remove
toxins in the sealant. Water was kept in the tank for three weeks to completely
absorb the toxins from the sealant
activities that the student did in this section include sorting sample for
laboratory analysis (Nile cabbage), grinding of shrimps and dry ‘omena’ for the
production of fish feeds, discussed various methods of obtaining fish for
aquarium captivity and various fishing gears used, classification of fish, and various
fish diseases, their causes, prevention and treatment measures.
Manual of Methods in
Chemical Analysis of Water – KENYA MARINE AND FISHERIES RESEARCH INSTITUTE