Research overview

The MARAM Group, based in the Department of Mathematics and Applied Mathematics at the University of Cape Town, is concerned with quantitative studies related to scientific recommendations for conservation measures governing the utilisation of South African and some other of the world's renewable marine resources. Over recent years, its work has been funded primarily through contract with the Cape Town-based Fisheries Branch of the South African Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries, though funds have also been forthcoming from the South African National Research Foundation (NRF) and contract work for foreign Governments and Fishing Industry Associations.

Research focus

The focus of the Group's work is the assessment and management of renewable marine resources. 'Assessment' relates to the evaluation of the present size (in particular in relation to pre-exploitation levels) and the productivity of a resource, while 'management' pertains to the translation of this information into scientific recommendations on appropriate limitations for harvest levels. Most of the methods used at present to lead to such recommendations for South Africa's major commercial fisheries have been developed by the Group. In particular, the adoption of automated feedback-control management procedures has been successfully promoted for some of these fisheries (this is an area where South Africa is regarded as a world leader).

International involvement

Group members also participate in the Scientific Committees of a number of international fishery commissions and related organisations (nine in recent years), and have also worked recently with government agencies in nine countries and fishing industry organisations in seven. Associated with this, the Group has wide links with fisheries research groups in other countries.

Group structure

In addition to the Director, the Group currently includes three permanent Research Officers (Drs Brandão, de Moor and Johnston), a part-time Administrative Assistant, a Research Associate (Dr Rademeyer), and five post-graduate students and post-doctoral co-workers.