African Journal of Marine Science

ISSN: 1814-232X (Print)
            1814-2338 (Online)
Publication frequency: 4 issues per year

Impact Factor: 0.894 (2017)
5-year Impact Factor: 1.033 

Accredited with the DHET (SAPSE)

Publication of the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry & Fisheries Southern African Society of Aquatic ScientistsCo-published with Taylor & FrancisClick here for Open Access options on this journal

Aims & Scope

The African (formerly South African) Journal of Marine Science provides an international forum for the publication of original scientific contributions or critical reviews, involving oceanic, shelf or estuarine waters, inclusive of oceanography, studies of organisms and their habitats, and aquaculture. Papers on the conservation and management of living resources, relevant social science and governance, or new techniques, are all welcomed, as are those that integrate different disciplines. Priority will be given to rigorous, question-driven research, rather than descriptive research. Contributions from African waters, including the Southern Ocean, are particularly encouraged, although not to the exclusion of those from elsewhere that have relevance to the African context. Submissions may take the form of a paper or a short communication. The journal aims to achieve a balanced representation of subject areas but also publishes proceedings of symposia in dedicated issues, as well as guest-edited suites on thematic topics in regular issues.

The journal is produced by NISC in association with the Fisheries branch of the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF). Acceptance of papers is the responsibility of the Editor-in-Chief in consultation with the Editors and members of the Editorial Advisory Board. All views expressed are those of the author and not necessarily those of the Editors or the Department. 




Sheldon Dudley
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cape Town, South Africa

Editorial Assistant

Hanlie Spamer
Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cape Town, South Africa

Editorial Office

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, Cape Town, South Africa
Postal address: Private Bag X2, Rogge Bay 8012, South Africa
Street address: Martin Hammerschlag Road, Foretrust Building, Foreshore, Cape Town
Telephone: +27 (0)21 402 3145/3247
Telefax: +27 (0)21 421 7406

Manuscript Submission

All manuscripts presented in accordance with instructions to authors should be submitted online at the African Journal of Marine Science ScholarOne Manuscripts site (


Kevern L Cochrane – Rhodes University, South Africa
Janet C Coetzee – Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa
Paul D Cowley – South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa
Dawit Yemane Ghebrehiwet – Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa   
Mark J Gibbons – University of the Western Cape, South Africa
Steve P Kirkman – Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa
Carl D van der Lingen – Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa
Grant C Pitcher – Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa
Merle Sowman – University of Cape Town, South Africa

Editorial Advisory Board

Manuel Barange – Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations (FAO), Rome, Italy
Ray G Barlow – Bayworld Centre for Research & Education, South Africa
Lynnath E Beckley – Murdoch University, Australia
John J Bolton – University of Cape Town, South Africa
George M Branch – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Peter J Britz – Rhodes University, South Africa
Kevin W Christison – Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, South Africa
Jenny A Huggett – Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa
Kwame A Koranteng – FAO, Italy
Matthieu Le Corre – Université de la Réunion, Réunion, France
Bruce Q Mann – Oceanographic Research Institute, South Africa
Conrad A Matthee – University of Stellenbosch, South Africa
Pedro MS Monteiro – CSIR, South Africa
Magnus AK Ngoile – University of Dar es Salaam, Tanzania
Maria-Pilar Olivar – Instituto de Ciencias del Mar, Spain
Andrew IL Payne – Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science, UK
Lucie Penin – Université de la Réunion, La Réunion, France
Pierre A Pistorius – Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, South Africa
André Punt – University of Washington,USA
Chris JC Reason – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Claude Roy – Institut de Recherche pour le Développement, France
Toufiek Samaai – Department of Environmental Affairs, South Africa
Lynne J Shannon – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Rashid U Sumaila – University of British Columbia, Canada
Jane K Turpie – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Les G Underhill – University of Cape Town, South Africa
Rudy P van der Elst – Oceanographic Research Institute, South Africa
Kuperan K Viswanathan – WorldFish Center, Malaysia
Caroline R Weir – Aberdeen University, UK
Alan K Whitfield – South African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity, South Africa

Publishing Manager

Contact regarding all aspects relating to the production of the journal, including scheduling and copyright issues:

Mike Schramm
NISC (Pty) Ltd
4 Speke Street
PO Box 377
Grahamstown 6140
South Africa

Tel: +27 (0)46 622 9698
Fax: +27 (0)46 622 9550

Published in association with the Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries:

Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries
Branch Fisheries
Private Bag X2
Rogge Bay 8012
South Africa



Latest Issue

Volume 40, Issue 2, 2018


Latitudinal gradients and poleward expansion of mangrove ecosystems in South Africa: 50 years after Macnae’s first assessment
Author(s): N PeerDST/NRF Research Chair in Shallow-Water Ecosystems, South Africa, A RajkaranDepartment of Biodiversity and Conservation Biology, South Africa, NAF MirandaDST/NRF Research Chair in Shallow-Water Ecosystems, South Africa, RH TaylorDepartment of Hydrology, South Africa, B NewmanCSIR Natural Resources and the Environment, South Africa, F PorriSouth African Institute for Aquatic Biodiversity (SAIAB), South Africa, JL RawDepartment of Botany, South Africa, SP MbenseDepartment of Botany, South Africa, JB AdamsDepartment of Botany, South Africa, R PerissinottoDST/NRF Research Chair in Shallow-Water Ecosystems, South Africa
Pages: 101–120
Review of progress with integrated coastal management in South Africa since the advent of democracy
Author(s): M SowmanEnvironmental and Geographical Science Department, South Africa, N MalanBranch: Oceans and Coasts, Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA), South Africa
Pages: 121–136


Impacts of alien ‘ecosystem engineers’ overwhelm interannual and seasonal shifts in rocky-shore community composition on Marcus Island, South Africa
Author(s): S SadchatheeswaranDepartment of Biological Sciences and Marine Research Institute, South Africa, GM BranchDepartment of Biological Sciences and Marine Research Institute, South Africa, CL MoloneyDepartment of Biological Sciences and Marine Research Institute, South Africa, TB RobinsonDepartment of Botany and Zoology, South Africa
Pages: 137–147
Genetic diversity and population connectivity of the sea urchin Tripneustes gratilla along the South African coast
Author(s): M BrinkMolecular Breeding and Biodiversity Group, Department of Genetics, South Africa, R Dale KuysMolecular Breeding and Biodiversity Group, Department of Genetics, South Africa, C RhodeMolecular Breeding and Biodiversity Group, Department of Genetics, South Africa, BM MaceyBranch: Fisheries Management, Department of Agriculture, South Africa, KW ChristisonBranch: Fisheries Management, Department of Agriculture, South Africa, R Roodt-WildingMolecular Breeding and Biodiversity Group, Department of Genetics, South Africa
Pages: 149–156
Sharks caught in the KwaZulu-Natal bather protection programme, South Africa. 14. The smooth hammerhead shark Sphyrna zygaena (Linnaeus)
Author(s): ML DickenKwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, South Africa, H WinkerBranch: Fisheries Management, Department of Agriculture, South Africa, MJ SmalePort Elizabeth Museum, South Africa, G CliffKwaZulu-Natal Sharks Board, South Africa
Pages: 157–174
A multimetric-index approach using fisheries data to assess fish assemblage structure in relation to salinity gradient in a tropical West African estuary
Author(s): J KantoussanUniversité Gaston Berger de Saint-Louis, Senegal, JM EcoutinInstitut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France, R LaëInstitut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France, OT ThiawInstitut Universitaire de Pêche et d’Aquaculture (IUPA), Université Cheikh Anta Diop de Dakar, Senegal, L Tito de MoraisInstitut de Recherche pour le Développement (IRD), France
Pages: 175–185
The age and growth of hottentot seabream Pachymetopon blochii before and after the South African linefish state of emergency in 2000
Author(s): MW FarthingDepartment of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, South Africa, AC WinklerDepartment of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, South Africa, K AndersonDepartment of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, South Africa, S KerwathBranch: Fisheries Management, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), South Africa, C WilkeBranch: Fisheries Management, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), South Africa, WM PottsDepartment of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, South Africa
Pages: 187–196
Population abundance and seasonal migration patterns indicated by commercial catch-per-unit-effort of hakes (Merluccius capensis and M. paradoxus) in the northern Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem
Author(s): JN KathenaNational Marine Information and Research Centre (NatMIRC), Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Resources, Namibia, D YemaneBranch: Fisheries Management, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), South Africa, N BahamonCentre d’Estudis Avançats de Blanes (CEAB – CSIC), Spain, T JansenNational Institute of Aquatic Resources (DTU Aqua), Denmark
Pages: 197–209
Unique ‘spring-loaded’ gnathopod in the recently re-discovered and highly range-restricted estuarine amphipod Quadrivisio aviceps
Author(s): C GriffithsDepartment of Biological Sciences and the Marine Research Institute, South Africa, J LandschoffDepartment of Biological Sciences and the Marine Research Institute, South Africa
Pages: 219–224

Short Communication

Genetic variability of the Lessepsian migrant mussel Brachidontes pharaonis (Bivalvia: Mytilidae) in Tunisia
Author(s): M AntitUR11ES12 Biologie de la Reproduction et du Développement animal, Faculté des Sciences de Tunis, Tunisia, N AmorKSU Mammals Research Chair, Department of Zoology, Saudi Arabia, J UrraOceanographic Center of Málaga–Spanish Institute of Oceanography, Spain, AN AlagailiKSU Mammals Research Chair, Department of Zoology, Saudi Arabia, S FarjallahUnité de Recherche de Biologie Intégrative et Ecologie Évolutive et Fonctionnelle des Milieux aquatiques, Faculté des Sciences Tunis, Tunisia
Pages: 211–217


Instructions for Authors

Submit Now

Author FAQ


Instructions for Authors

Submission and editorial policy: Submissions should be made online at the African Journal of Marine Science ScholarOne manuscripts site. New users should first create an account. Once a user is logged onto the site submissions should be made via the Author Centre. Should you have difficulty submitting material online, please notify the Editor-in-Chief, Sheldon Dudley, at

In a covering letter, the author is encouraged to suggest the names and contact addresses (including e-mail addresses) of three appropriate referees who have not been associated with the work or research being submitted, although the Editors will not be bound by such reviewers. Further, the author must confirm in the letter that the work is original and is not currently under consideration for publication elsewhere.

Contributions must conform to the principles outlined in Ethical considerations in research publication available for download below. Submission of a manuscript implies the transfer of the copyright for the accepted article to the publisher and all those media that the publisher considers suitable for the dissemination of the work. However, the author retains the right to disseminate his/her own work. Maximum lengths of contributions should be 2 500 words for short communications and 7 500 words for full papers, but review articles of up to 12 000 words will be considered. Appendices, such as questionnaires and ancillary data, can be published as supplementary material (online only).

Text: 1. Everything should be double spaced — text, quotations, footnotes, tables and table headings, legends, references to literature — though greater spacing may be used where helpful (particularly around equations and formulae).

2. Lines should be numbered.

3. All pages of the manuscript are to be numbered with Arabic numbers.

4. A new page should be started for each of the following sections:
(a) title (informative but brief), name, affiliation and address of author;
(b) abstract;
(c) text;
(d) references;
(e) summary (if needed);
(f) tables and tabulations;
(g) legends for figures.

5. All manuscripts are to be accompanied by an alphabetical list of keywords that do not appear in the title and that are obtained from the whole article. They should follow the abstract.

6. Whether subdivided by paragraphs only or also by formal headings and subheadings, the text should follow the order: Introduction, Material and Methods, Results and Discussion. Obligatory as main headings are: Acknowledgements, References and Summary (if a summary is needed).

7. If the text is formally subdivided, the headings and subheadings need not be numbered. The main headings listed in ‘6’ should not be repeated slavishly, as long as their intention is the same. The use of Introduction or its equivalent is optional. Three categories of headings should be sufficient and distinguished clearly.

8. New paragraphs should be clearly identified.

9. Only those words to be printed in italics should be shown so or underlined.

10. All measurements (linear, mass and time) should be given in numerals (not words) in the metric system. When other units of measure are preferred, authors should include metric equivalents. Metric units used and their abbreviations should be those approved by  SO (International Standards Organization), e.g. 25 mm, 16 mg ml–1

11. Statistical presentation guidelines are available for download below.

12. Numbers in text are to be spelled out if smaller than 10, but a series of numbers including numbers smaller and larger than 10 should all be listed in numerals. In a sentence overloaded with numbers it is permissible to give certain categories in numerals and others in words. Avoid starting a sentence with a numeral.

13. Footnotes are to be avoided, but if necessary they must be numbered consecutively in the text and typed under a horizontal line at the foot of the page concerned.

Abstract: 1. Each manuscript must have an abstract, the length of which should not exceed 200 words or 3% of the paper, whichever is the lesser.

2. Subdivision into paragraphs and references to literature are not permitted.

3. The abstract should summarise the contents and conclusions of the paper, point to new information contained therein, and indicate the relevance of the work.

Summary: If a summary is necessary, it should list seriatim the principal facts and conclusions of the paper.

Acknowledgements: This section is to be kept brief and only special help acknowledged.

Tables: 1. Tables should be carefully constructed so that the data presented may be easily understood. Care should be taken not to overload a table with information or unnecessarily proliferate tables or tabulations.

2. Both tables (numbered) and tabulations (not numbered) are permitted, but the use of tabulations is to be limited. Tabulations should contain no more than six items of information. More voluminous listings are to be called tables.

3. In constructing both tables and tabulations the size of the printed publication should be borne in mind.

4. Each table should be provided with a descriptive legend which, together with the column headings of the table, makes it intelligible within the context of the paper without reference to the text.

5. Tables should be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals, e.g. Table 1, Table 2. Although it will not be printed, tabulations should also bear a number, e.g. Tabulation 1.

6. Footnotes to tables should be minimised.

7. Magnitude known to be nil is shown by a zero or gap; ‘no data’ by a dash or in words.

8. Decimal fractions should be preceded by a zero and columns of figures aligned on the decimal marker. Integers are to be aligned on the least significant digit. A space separates groups of three digits, e.g. 5 480 000. Spacing does not apply to dates and similar numbers.

9. Tables and figures do not normally duplicate one another. Select the most appropriate presentation, e.g. graphs for trends.

10. Each table should be referred to by a number in the text in sequence and discussed.

Figures: 1. All illustrations, whether black-and-white drawings, graphs, photographs (colour or monochrome) or charts, are to be designated as figures. Colour will be used only when essential.

2. Each figure must be mentioned by number in sequence in the text and described.

3. A legend should be provided for each figure which, together with the illustration, should make the whole intelligible without reference to the text.

4. Figures are to be numbered consecutively in Arabic numerals, e.g. Figure 1, Figure 2.

5. Small illustrations may be grouped together on a page, the parts then being identified by small letters, e.g. Figure 1a, Figure 1b. The legend should correspond.

6. Figures are to be prepared to a maximum width of 84 mm or 176 mm. The size, line thickness and spacing of lettering, lines and data points should take into account the final size of the illustration. For graphs and diagrams, lines should be 0.5 point with lettering in 9 point Arial.

7. Illustrations, where the size of the object shown is important, should have a metric bar scale drawn in on them. If impossible, actual size may be mentioned in the legend.

8. Care should be taken so that figures are not overcrowded with information. On the other hand, information that can easily be depicted in a single figure should not be given in several.

 9. Graphs, histograms, charts and similar matter should be boxed, i.e. enclosed on all four sides. Data points, regression formulae, sample size, confidence limits, adequate graduations, etc. may be included wherever needed.

Graphics and illustrations: 1. Authors must ensure that their figures conform to the style of the journal. Pay particular attention to line thickness, font and figure proportions, taking into account the Journal’s printed page size (210 × 275 mm). Costs of redrawing figures may be charged. Please refer to Figure Guidelines for Authors: format, style and technical considerations available for download below. 

2. For digital photographs or scanned images the resolution should be at least 300 dpi for colour or greyscale artwork and a minimum of 600 dpi for black line drawings. These can be saved (in order of preference) in PSD, JPEG, PDF or EPS format.

3. Graphs, charts or maps can be saved in AI, PDF or EPS format. MS Office files (Word, Powerpoint, Excel) are also acceptable but DO NOT EMBED Excel graphs or Powerpoint slides in a MS Word document, rather send the original Excel or Powerpoint files. More detailed technical information is given in Figure Guidelines for Authors.

References: 1. Reference to literature cited in text could be as follows: Griffiths (2000) showed that... or ...intense plankton production (Carr 2002). Other examples: Crawford (2001, 2003); (Crawford 1981a, 1981b; Hampton 1987).

2. If an unpublished book or article has been accepted for publication, it should be listed in the References followed by the notation ‘in press’. Only those manuscripts that are in galley- or page-proof stage or for which there is an acceptance letter can be considered in press. As much information as possible is to be given about the intended manner of publication, e.g. name of journal. If an article is in preparation, or submitted but yet not accepted, state the name and affiliation of the author of the material followed by the notation ‘unpublished data’ in the text and do not include it in the reference list. Reference to ‘pers. comm.’ or ‘in litt.’ is allowed.

3. Reference in the text to works with more than two authors should be given as the senior author et al., e.g. Payne et al. (1982).

4. A quotation from a reference should list the page quoted and be enclosed in quotation marks. Spelling, punctuation and wording must conform to the original in all respects. Mistakes in the original may be pointed out by inserting [sic] after each one.

5. Works quoted in the text but not actually seen should be given as, e.g. Ratcliffe (1991) as cited by Dallas and Day (1993). Such literature need not be listed in the References.

6. Only literature actually quoted in the text is to be listed in the References, which should strictly only include works published, being published or in an advanced state of preparation. However, listings of theses, (doctoral and masters only) and symposia presentations will be permitted.

7. The list of literature provided at the end of the text must be in alphabetic sequence of first authors, e.g. Newman (1976) precedes Newman and Pollock (1960).

8. Where more than one publication by the same author is listed, his/her name must be repeated and the listing is chronological.

9. The use of Anon. for author should be avoided by the use of a corporate name.

10. Titles of periodicals must be listed in full.

11. Works quoted in a language different from that of the original publication are to be identified as, e.g. (translated from Russian) in parentheses at the end of the reference. The titles of works written in non-Roman characters are to be transliterated and the fact noted by appending (in Japanese) or (in Russian, with English abstract).

12. Internet references should include the full URL of the site accessed (or article digital object identifier) along with the date of access.

13. Examples (refer to Reference Exemplars for Authors available for download below. 

Christensen V, Walters CJ. In press. Trade-offs in ecosystem-scale optimization of fisheries management policies. Bulletin of Marine Science.

FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization). 2002. The state of world fisheries and aquaculture. Rome: FAO Fisheries Department.

Griffiths MH. 2000a. Long-term trends in catch and effort of commercial linefish off South Africa’s Cape Province: snapshots of the 20th century. South African Journal of Marine Science 22: 81–110.

Griffiths MH. 2000b. Atractoscion aequidens. In: Mann BQ (ed.), Southern African marine linefish status reports. Special Publication No. 7. Durban: Oceanographic Research Institute. pp 83–84.

Hall S (ed.). 1999. The effects of fishing on marine ecosystems and ecology. Oxford: Blackwell. 

IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature). 2008. 2008 IUCN Red List of threatened species. Available at [accessed 8 January 2009].

Mori M, Butterworth DS. 2002. An updated assessment for the South African kingklip resource. Unpublished Report No. WG/10/02/D:K:19. Marine and Coastal Management, Cape Town.

Payne AIL. 1995. Cape hakes. In: Payne AIL, Crawford RJM (eds), Oceans of life off southern Africa (2nd edn). Cape Town: Vlaeberg. pp 136–147.

Rice JC. 2000. Evaluating fishery impacts using metrics of community structure. ICES Journal of Marine Science 57: 682–688.

Whittington PA. 2002. Survival and movements of African penguins, especially after oiling. PhD thesis, University of Cape Town, South Africa.

Page charges: Attention is drawn to the fact that contributions submitted to the journal will be liable for charges at the following rates: ZAR250 per page for African contributors (excl. VAT for South Africa) or USD45 per page for other contributors. Illustrations can be reproduced in colour, but only when essential, and subject to approval by the Editor-in-Chief. Non-essential use of colour will be charged at ZAR900 (excl. VAT) per page for African contributors and USD150 per page for contributors from elsewhere. Authors who do not receive subsidies from their institutions may apply to the publisher to have their page charges waived.

Reprints: Authors will be notified via e-mail when their article is available for download from the journal website.

Open access: African Journal of Marine Science is a hybrid journal which allows authors the option of publishing their article Open Access for a set fee. Further details are given in Gold Open Access Procedure Document available from the NISC Open Access Page


Instructions for Authors

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Figure Guidelines for Authors

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Figure FAQs

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