Special Issue - African Journal of Aquatic Science

Posted 24 April 2020 by under Announcements & Notices • Journal: African Journal of Aquatic Science
Special Issue - African Journal of Aquatic Science

In 2018 the African Journal of Aquatic Science announced an upcoming new series of Medal Special Issues which were to be co-edited by Southern African Society of Aquatic Scientist Medal Winners. 

The first Medal Special issue titled, "Perspectives on Protecting African Estuarine Ecosystems in the Anthropocene" has been published in Volume 45, Issue 1, 2020. 

The impact of people on African estuarine ecosystems has increased enormously during the Anthropocene. Globally, the human population has expanded exponentially, with coastal areas, particularly the zones around estuaries, among those most targeted for residential, recreational and industrial development. 

The consequent infrastructural growth and demand for coastal resources has coincided with major Global Change, including Climate Change, placing considerable pressure on estuarine ecosystems and compromising their ability to deliver the expected goods and services to people. These influences have been exacerbated by the excessive freshwater abstraction and general catchment degradation that has accompanied most agricultural activities, making the prognosis for estuarine health on the subcontinent increasingly bleak.

The special issue highlights the status of our knowledge of estuaries in Africa, with particular emphasis on research that helps us understand the responses of these systems to human impacts, and the options for mitigating the influence of activities that prevent the optimal functioning of these coastal ‘gems’.

This issue of 16 papers (and a book review) covers a wide spectrum of human-related issues facing estuaries on the African subcontinent.

It includes a review that documents basic information, such as a new classification system for estuaries that incorporates biogeography and sizes and types of estuaries in support of better protection, conservation and achieving of management goals. There are important review papers that synthesise the impact of deteriorating water quality on estuaries and the quantification of global pressures that are key to future resource allocations, use and protection. One of the review papers assesses our knowledge of the use of nursery areas by temperate coastal fish and it highlights the threats posed by anthropogenic impacts, as well as a lack of integrated conservation policy and reflecting on this important biotic component. 

Although most contributions have a single estuary focus (e.g. the Gamtoos, Mbhashe, uMdloti and uMlalazi Estuaries), there are two very important estuarine ecosystems (Knysna and St Lucia) that are covered by three papers each. The Knysna focus is biased towards nutrient pollution and its consequences, whereas the St Lucia coverage is strongly geared towards the restoration of a freshwater supply from the uMfolozi River and the combating of high sediment loads associated with these inputs. However, for both systems there are also review papers that provide an overall perspective of current ecological health and ways to promote ecosystem restoration for these high priority estuaries.

The Special issue is available here

The NISC partnership has benefited the Indo-Pacific Journal of Phenomenology by bringing sustainability, additional branding and marketing, a wider reach through its websites, and the added value of expertise in the very competitive world of publishing.
- Chris Stones, IPJP Editor-in-Chief since 2003
The proofs look great! Thank you so much. The efficiency of the journal now is really excellent. Easy to work with, and so thorough. I appreciate it.
- Regular SAJP Author on his first interaction with NISC
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- Author- Ostrich: Journal of African Ornithology
Excellent attention by editor-in-chief; very good work of reviewers; good time for review and processing.
- Author - African Journal of Range & Forage Science
Perhaps the most important change, in terms of bringing the Journal to a wider audience, has been its publishing in collaboration with the NISC (Pty) Ltd.
- Stan Pillar, Editor of the African Journal of Marine Science (1996-2013)