The Sustainable Aquaculture Research Group (SARG) has considerable experience coordinating research and development projects in West/East Africa and Asia. Current projects include SARNISSA, an African regional aquaculture network now in its 7th year,and 2 large scale collaborative EU FP7 projects; PROteINSECT and Sustaining Ethical Aquaculture Trade (SEAT). Dr Murray has trained certification auditing companies on the recently released WWF/ASC bivalve aquaculture standards.
The Institute of Aquaculture has lead responsibility for financial administration, project oversight, reporting and dissemination (WP1).
The Institute of Aquaculture will provide technical advice on alternative methods of culturing oysters; identify a range of sites with different hydrographic characteristics, (tidal range, influence of freshwater, turbidity etc.) and propose the most appropriate systems (rafts, long lines, trays) using materials locally available in Sierra Leone.
The Institute of Aquaculture will conduct of livelihoods analyses and research sample-design, capacity building for collective management of multiple-use aquatic resources (WP2) and provide marketing support (WP3).
As part of the University of Sierra Leone, IMBO is a research and teaching institute specialising in marine oceanographic and freshwater biological research including fisheries exploitation relevant to the needs of West African Maritime Nations. Dr Sankoh's recent project coordination activities include DelPhe and Edulink (CODWAP) capacity building projects. He is also highly familiar with Sherbro MBA and its statutes. Dr Sankoh is a graduate of the Institute of Aquaculture University of Stirling.
IMBO will lead local coordination and implementation of field-work in the Sherbro MPA. Through its established networks it will also be the project liaison with the following project affiliates: the West African Regional Fisheries Project, the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources (MFMR) and with the MPA management and devolved Local Management Committees (LMCs). Based on previous reconnaissance work in the MPA (in collaboration with Njala University) Dr Sankoh will also liaise with oyster fisherwomen groups as the principle intended beneficiaries of the project.
IMBO will conduct baseline studies on biodiversity and levels of community dependence on the ecosystems goods and services in target areas. It will also conduct project impact assessment surveys in collaboration with Njala University and lead the supply-chain development activity (WP3).
NJU will contribute to the development of the research design and impact assessment through GIS mangrove mapping, integration and interrogation of geographic data from the MPA. It will also be responsible for statistical analysis and verification of project outcomes based on environmental, social and economic sustainability indicators (WP2).
NJU will also lead on market promotion (WP4) though the staging of regional followed by a national competition for local oyster recipes, through its Home Economics Department. Dr Wadsworth has conducted reconnaissance survey work in the Sherbro MPA as a component of a previous Darwin Project.
MEP will provide advice on how to become accredited as a 'marine sustainable' supplier based on assessment of the resultant value chains against principle market-based fisheries and aquaculture standards (eg MSC, Global Gap, WWF/ASC, GAA/ACC, Fairtrade and Organic) and international codes on responsible aquaculture (eg FAO Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries, FAO Principles for promoting aquaculture in Africa.
This assessment will contribute to the development of policy recommendations for incorporation of bivalve aquaculture zoning and management principles in MPA statutes.