Damaris Njeri Kinyua

I am undertaking a Ph.D. under the BILLFISH-WIO project. The overall goal of my dissertation is to examine the socio-economic perspective and governance of billfish fisheries in the Western Indian Ocean with specific emphasis on the Kenya coast. Specifically, I aim to (i) characterize the billfish fishery profiles, (ii) assess the socio economics across the billfish resource user groups, (iii) develop a value chain model of the billfish fishery, as well as (iv) assess the impact of management and governance of billfish on the billfish resource use. My dissertation work will be supervised by Dr. Andrew Wamukota, Dr. Nina Wambiji, Dr. Prof. Rashid Sumaila and Dr. Nelly Isigi Kadagi.

Twitter handle: @DamarKinyua


Emmy Aaron Mwanjali

I am currently a Master’s degree at the University of Dar-es-salaam-Tanzania. My thesis focuses on assessing the socio-economic profile and value chain analysis of billfish fishery in Tanzania which is under objective 4 of the BILLFISH-WIO project. I am  supervised by  Dr. Lydia Gaspare Kanyairita from the Aquatic science department at the University of Dar-es-salaam. My field research will be carried out at Dar-es-salaam Kivukoni/Ferry fish market, Kunduchi landing site and Mafia Island.

Twitter handle: @EmmyAaron3


Joey Ngunu Wandiga

I am currently completely BSc. Marine Biology & Fisheries at Pwani University. I am working under the supervision of Damaris Kinyua, Dr. Nelly Isigi Kadagi and Dr. Nina Wambiji to evaluate the catch rates for sport and recreational fisheries targeting billfish along the Kenya coast, with a particular focus on sailfish species. Specifically, I am interested in (i) assessing the trends in catch rates of sailfish of historical data in the marine recreational fishing in Kilifi County and (ii) determining the temporal variability of sailfish catches.

Twitter handle: @joeyngunu24


Pascal Thoya

I am a research scientist at the Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) and a Ph.D. student pursuing a joint Ph.D. degree at the University of Hamburg in German and Macquarie University in Australia supervised by Dr. Joseph Maina Mbui. I am interested in the assessment of ecosystem-based resources for a sustainable blue economy in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO). Specific to this project, my work explores the impact of environmental factors on the niche partitioning and distribution of billfish in the Indian Ocean. Part of my Ph.D. will contribute to objective 2 of the billfish-WIO project of defining billfish spatial ecology in the WIO region. 

Twitter handle: @Pthoya


Pascah Bulia Beti

I am in my last year of pursuing a BSc. (Microbiology) at Pwani University. Under the BILLFISH-WIO project, my research focuses on the optimization of DNA Isolation Protocol for Western Indian Ocean Billfish species which is under component 3. I am supervised by Dr. Sammy Wambua, Dr. Nina Wambiji and Dr. Nelly Isigi Kadagi.

Twitter handle: @PascahB


Eunice Leong

I work as a researcher at the Fisheries Research Institute (IIP) in Mozambique focusing on artisanal, recreational and sport fisheries to strengthen data collection and the development of sustainable management strategies for fisheries in Maputo Province. As a Master’s student on the BILLFISH-WIO project – Mozambique component, my dissertation research will assess the characteristics, catch dynamics and socio-economic impacts of sport and recreational fisheries in Ponta do Ouro Partial Reserve.


Jose Halafo

I’m an Aquatic Biologist with a Master’s degree in Biology from University of Waterloo – Canada. I am currently working as the country coordinator and a Ph.D. researcher on the BILLFISH-WIO project.  My Ph.D. research focuses on the biology of billfish species within the WIO. I am currently developing a research proposal on reproductive patterns, habitat selection, and socio-economic Interactions of billfish species with special significance to the black marlin (Istiompax indica, CUVIER 1832) in Mozambique. My work contributes to the management of coastal ecosystems and Marine protected areas (MPAs) and the Blue Economy in the framework of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goal 14, (SDG 14).


Shakila Muendo

I am a Master’s student on the BILLFISH-WIO project – Kenya component. My research work examines the scope, magnitude and implications of fisheries subsidies on billfish in the Western Indian Ocean (WIO) region. Specifically, I aim to analyze the effects of these subsidies and finally develop a framework for providing subsidies that are in line with sustainable use and governance of these fisheries in the region.

Twitter handle: @Shakila03604323


Salma Ali Ahmed

I am excited to be working on the BILLFISH-WIO project as a Master’s student registered at Pwani University, Kenya. I am interested in examining the socio-economic contributions of billfish species to the fisheries sector in Somalia. My work will be supervised by Prof. Mlewa Chrisestom Mwatete, Dr. Sarah Glaser, Dr. Nelly Isigi Kadagi, and Dr. Nina Wambiji. Overall, my research topic will contribute to the objective 4 of the BILLFISH-WIO project on understanding the socio-economic value of billfish species and their impact on food security.

We welcome collaborations