Advancing Education

We are proud to offer funding for postgraduate research and training in sustainable small-scale fisheries and advocacy. Our grantees are leading scholars specialising in subjects within the Indian Ocean region, whose research and training aligns with the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). We prioritise the higher education of Indian Ocean nationals to build capacity in vulnerable Coastal States, whilst increasing research efforts in the region and contributing to the global knowledge base on fisheries. Details of our present and past scholars and their projects can be found below.

Number of scholars in process
Number of universities SFACT collaborates with

Interested in applying for a scholarship?

If you are aspiring to undertake postgraduate research, we are open to hearing your ideas. We have established relationships with universities all around the world, specialising in four main subjects: Law of the Sea, Marine Ecology, Socio-Economics and Innovation. 

If you feel you would be a suitable candidate for a scholarship and would like to share your project ideas with us, please click below and contact us.

Our Scholars

Rahim Ibrahim

Colonial Legacies and Contemporary Governance: A Political Ecology Analysis of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) – PhD

Rahim started his PhD journey this October at Dalhousie University under the supervision of Dr Megan Bailey. His research is deeply embedded in political ecology and the legacy of colonialism and neo-colonialism, and the potential benefits to the Indian Ocean region are fascinating. He aims to explore the effects of colonialism and neo-colonialism on resource exploitation and environmental policies. Central to his work is sustainable marine resource management, where he will critically address the issue of stock depletion due to overexploitation and external pressures. His research is pivotal in understanding the impacts of resource exploitation, and he seeks to influence policy and governance to advocate for sustainability. Above all else, Rahim strikes to build economic and environmental resilience in the region, particularly in his home country of Somalia. His time at Dalhousie so far has shaped him into an incredibly well-rounded individual; interacting with people of all backgrounds and immersing himself in new cultures has resulted in a broad and developed perspective on various global issues.

Yoga Jagaraga

Impact of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) Fisheries Subsidies Agreement for Indonesia: can Indonesia comply to the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement if it were ratified? – PhD

Yoga has worked as a civil servant in the Indonesian Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, where his skills were focussed mainly on devising policies and drafting regulations for the Indonesian government. He noticed that there is a connection between his work and the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement: an agreement that prohibits harmful fisheries subsidies which are a key factor in the widespread depletion of the world’s fish stocks. Yoga states that because the Indonesian government is still providing subsidies for fisheries business actors, it is important to determine whether the subsidies that Indonesia are currently providing fall into the criteria of those subsidies that are prohibited under the agreement. Yoga’s research will aim to determine whether Indonesia is able to comply with the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement, and how ratification of this agreement will impact Indonesian government policy. This research will help to determine the best way for the Indonesian government to deal with the WTO Fisheries Subsidies Agreement.

Adam Ziyad

Could the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission turn the tide to become an effective RFMO? – PhD

Mr. Ziyad is a Maldivian national who has worked in the Fisheries Department of the Maldives’ Ministry of Fisheries, Marine Resources, and Agriculture since 2003, holding roles such as Director of Fisheries Compliance, Assistant Director of Fisheries Management and Director General. During this time, Mr. Ziyad earned a Bachelor’s degree in applied science (Fisheries Management) and a Master’s Degree in Coastal and Marine Resources Management. He also serves as the Commissioner and Vice Chair of the Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC), overseeing both the sustainable development and management of the fisheries sector.

Mr. Ziyad’s expertise in fisheries management and his understanding of the market is what motivates him to pursue a PhD on the potential of the IOTC to become an effective Regional Fisheries Management Organisation (RFMO). Mr. Ziyad recognises the need for a fully functioning IOTC in order to remedy the critical state of the three tropical tuna stocks in the Indian Ocean: Bigeye, Yellowfin and Skipjack Tuna. As tuna is a vital resource for food security, income, and livelihoods in Maldivian communities, Mr. Ziyad is conducting his research with the aim to use it’s findings to provide valuable insights and recommendations for enhancing the IOTC’s role in preserving and sustainably managing tuna stocks throughout the region.

Lulu Middleton

Nutrition-Sensitive Food Systems: The Role of Mangroves and Their Potential to Support Gendered Food and Nutrition Security in Indonesia  – PhD

Lucinda Middleton (Lulu) is an interdisciplinary nutritionist who obtained an MSc in Nutrition for Global Health at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where she focused on the impacts of ocean warming on fisheries distribution and the consequences of such warming for food security in the Asia-Pacific. Lulu’s PhD project will be the first detailed study examining the link between mangroves as food systems and household micro/macronutrient consumption, dietary diversity and food and nutrition security (FNS). This research aims to raise the profile of the need for integrated policies and the extent to which coastal communities depend on mangrove food services in Indonesia. In examining mangrove food services and their contribution to food and nutrition security from a gendered perspective, this research aims to provide a unique viewpoint into subsistence food systems and their potential to boost nutrition in marginalised groups within rural coastal communities in Indonesia.

Zameel Hussain

Legal analysis on the application of Sovereign Rights of Coastal States at Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) – PhD

Zameel has been working as a Senior Compliance Officer at the Maldivian Ministry of Fisheries leading the Fisheries Compliance Department, where he is responsible for coordinating the work on implementing the Fisheries Act and incorporating the international obligations of Maldives as a fishing nation into domestic legislature. 

Zameel explains “my work in the Ministry includes providing legal opinion on the proposals and discussions at Indian Ocean Tuna Commission (IOTC) and other Regional Fisheries Management Organisations. This has given me an insight into the legal objections and concerns raised by the Coastal States in the context of their sovereign rights. There are various scholarly studies, projects, and reports published on establishing governance mechanisms in tuna RFMOs including IOTC. Similar studies have provided policy advice on decision-making and allocation regimes at IOTC. However, a legal analysis to determine the IOTC’s conformity with International Law in ensuring the sovereign rights of coastal states is yet be carried out.” It is because of this that Zameel has decided to pursue his PhD and investigate the application of Sovereign Rights of Coastal States at the IOTC.

Peter Kimwele Mwandikwa

Marine Biodiversity Conservation and Fisheries Management – Master of Science

Peter Mwandikwa is a professional fishery expert with a specific focus on small scale fisheries and aquaculture development and management. His research centres around the development of small scale fisheries resources for sustainable livelihoods. Peter has participated in projects and programmes in small scale fisheries management and development and community based resources management whose objectives have been to ensure food security, wealth creation and environmental conservation. He has over ten years of experience as a fisheries manager and having attended various trainings and workshops in fisheries management and development in the East African region, and is also a TVET trained Trainer of Trainers (TOT).

Lara Funk

Examining Social Responsibility Tools and Worker Wellbeing in Global Seafood Supply Chains – PhD

Lara Funk is currently a PhD Candidate at Heriot-Watt University examining the impact of social responsibility tools on worker wellbeing in global seafood supply chains. Her research aims to help bridge the academia-industry divide and she is directly supported by Sustainable Fisheries and Communities Trust, Tesco, Hilton Seafoods, Global Seafood Assurances, and Marks & Spencer. Lara’s background is in sustainable development and marine socio-ecological systems and she holds a Master’s of Science in Marine Systems and Policies from the University of Edinburgh and a Bachelor of Arts in Rethinking International Development from Duke University.

Nyokabi Hannah Waititu

Assigning Access to Fisheries in the Kenyan Exclusive Economic Zone Under the Fisheries Management and Development Act, 2016 – PhD

During Nyokabi Waititu’s time working at the State Department of Fisheries, Aquaculture, and the Blue Economy, the law governing fisheries in Kenya was repealed and a new robust law enacted in line with international, regional and national legal developments in the fisheries value chain. This legal development informed her interest in researching the different approaches of accessing fisheries in the Exclusive Economic Zone, an under-researched area. Nyokabi will identify ways whereby the country will benefit economically and socially from the fisheries, and while simultaneously implementing conservation and management measures that guarantee maximum sustainable yield.

Muhammad Zulficar Mochtar

Determinant of Competitiveness of Indonesia Tuna Export Business – Doctorate

Pak Zulficar is an experienced Executive Director with a demonstrated history of working in the public policy industry, and a Master of Science (MSc) focused on Sustainability, Planning and Environmental Policy from Cardiff University, UK. 

Having worked in the Indonesian fisheries sector for more than 20 years, Pak Zulficar is looking to investigate what drives competitiveness in Indonesia tuna export. His detailed review of the supply chain process will look into fishing activities, fish processing unit (UPI) capacities and performance, and export process and standard. This research is intended so that in the future, the industries with export potential, especially in the tuna fishing industry, will explain the determinants of their competitiveness and the implications that need to be anticipated, so that related businesses develop more according to their potential.


Syahril Abd Raup

Integrating Indonesia Tuna Fishery Data – PhD

Pak Chali has been working in the fisheries industry of Indonesia for nearly 20 years, and is passionate about the sustainable management of tuna stocks to ensure a stable future for his country. 

Indonesia is one of the largest tuna producing countries in the world. As an archipelago country, Indonesia has many suitable marine areas for tuna and similar species. However, this raises problems and challenges on its own in implementing sustainable and responsible management of tuna fisheries. One critical issue in tuna management that needs attention in Indonesia is data collection. Pak Chali is addressing this issue by building capacity in the Ministry of Fisheries and Marine Affairs in Indonesia, to establish a standard data gathering mechanism.

Ilham S.Pi

Modelling and Data Analysis of Small Pelagic Fisheries in Indonesia – Doctorate

Pak Ilham is currently Head of Fisheries Data Analysis Section at Fisheries Resources Management Directorate of Capture Fisheries Directorate General at Ministry of Marine Affairs and Fisheries in Jakarta, Indonesia. His main responsibility within the division is to analyse fisheries data obtained throughout Indonesia to support fisheries management decision nationwide. 

His work and team has been valuable in supporting policies for managing several fisheries stocks particularly small pelagic fisheries through implementation of several data collection system such as catch recording, port sampling and electronic log books for fishing vessels in Indonesia. He believes that this research is very important to support management and policies in Small Pelagic Fisheries drafting by both central and local government in Indonesia.  Moreover, he hopes to obtain more knowledge and skills on fisheries modelling based on limiting data which has been a main problem facing by almost all Indonesian fisheries stocks.  This will aid in the management of small pelagic fisheries through improving data collection system, analysis and modelling.  Upon the completion of the program, he intends to continue and advance his professional career within the ministry to contribute to fisheries management in Indonesia and even at regional and international level.

Abdirahim Ibrahim

Lost, Abandoned, and Discarded (LAD) Drifting Fish Aggregating Devices (dFADs) in Somalia – MSc

Abdirahim’s research estimates the impacts and benefits of foreign fishing fleets in Somalia waters, focusing on Chinese-flagged longline fishing in Somalia waters by measuring their fishing effort and determining the legality of recorded fishing based on tracked vessels having the appropriate licences. In his research he also examined the impacts of beached dFADs associated with purse seine vessels that do not hold current licences and do not comply with regional regulations.

Although he has completed his masters’ qualification, Abdirahim is due to start a PhD in 2023, also at Dalhousie University in Canada. He intends to examine the inequitable burdens and incompetence of developing coastal states and UNCLOS’s governance system regarding shared fisheries resources.

Related Projects

As well as our fantastic scholars, we also offer training and short courses in other areas. You can explore our education projects below.