witness and feel the beauty of Lake Tanganyika and its biodiversity

About us


Dr Ismael Kimirei
I would like to welcome you to Kigoma to work with us in the greater goal of managing and conserving lake Tanganyika. The Centre has a very nice and spacious laboratory which is installed with state-of-the-art equipment. We have and are capable to analyze water quality parameters (nutrients, and other variables), phytoplankton and zooplankton, heavy metal analysis with the Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (AAS). We have fibre boats with inboard and outboard engines for use on the lake for sampling. The Centre has very capable and compete staff to help and work with you all the way. Once again Karibu to TAFIRI Kigoma and witness and feel the beauty of Lake Tanganyika and its biodiversity.

Tanzania Fisheries Research Institute (TAFIRI) was established by the Act of Parliament No. 6 of 1980 to promote, conduct, and co-ordinate fisheries research in Tanzania. The idea of establishing TAFIRI came after the collapse of the East African Community in 1977. Before the collapse, the Community had several functions, among which include fisheries research and development.

After the collapse of the Community, all matters related to fisheries and fisheries research were vested to the Fisheries Department, Ministry of Natural Resources and Tourism. Since the Fisheries Department is not mandated to carrying out research, it was deemed necessary to establish a fisheries research institution, which should cater for fisheries research in the country.

However, the Institute never operated independently until the Board of Directors was named in May, and the Director General appointed in August 1983. The Institute's headquarters is located at the newly built (2005) Coelacanth House in Kunduchi (Dar es Salaam).

Kigoma Centre being one of the four centers was established in 1973 by the Ministry of Tourism, Natural Resources, and the Environment with the aim of assessing the fishery on Lake Tanganyika. For the first five years, Kigoma Centre was run in collaboration with the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).

TAFIRI Kigoma Centre is located on the eastern shore (in kigoma Municipality) of the most glorious places on the planet Lake Tanganyika. Lake Tanganyika is well known for its clear waters and stunning biodiversity which include some 300+ colorful cichlid fish species which are known around the globe in the aquarium business. The lake is also known for its product pelagic fisheries supporting over one million people in terms of cheap fish protein and income.However,the lake is being affected by climate change and warming which together with fishing effort and sedimentation from the catchment are the changing the ecosystem function and balance, thereby affecting the fisheries sustainability.It is in these setting TAFIRI Kigoma is operating to advise the government of the United Republic of Tanzania in ensuring that the fisheries is sustainable and that the lake continue to provide services to the communities.

Research Areas

Aquatic ecosystems and Biodiversity

Human activities (such as illegal fishing methods/gears, poor agricultural practices, mining, deforestation, biomass burning) and natural processes have an impact on sustainability of aquatic ecosystems. Therefore, research is needed to understand their current status, and how human activities and natural processes may affect ecosystem components, structure and functioning in the future in order to devise mitigation measures.

Climate change and environment

Climate change has significant impacts on aquatic ecosystems. It modifies biological, chemical and physical conditions in the marine and freshwater, which affects the sustainability of human uses of aquatic resource. Consequently, research is needed for better understanding, detecting, and forecasting changes and providing scientific information for developing mitigation strategies.


With increasing fishing pressure and declining fish catches in the wild stocks, attention is now turned into developing aquaculture systems capable of meeting demand of growing human population. Therefore, there is a need to carry out research on the development of high efficiency and environmental friendly culture technology and identify new species that can be efficiently cultured.

Capture fishery

Capture fisheries resource are highly diverse and their sustainability depend on responsible management decisions based on the best scientific information available. To arrive to the best scientific advice, a number of researches in the EEZ, territorial waters, rivers, large and small water bodies (including satellite lakes) are required. This encompasses the status of fish stocks which include their biology and ecology, exploitation patterns, gears and methods used.


Fisheries management encompasses a number of socio-economic factors which impact the validity and effectiveness of the best scientific advises. Consequently, understanding the socio-economic aspects of the fishery and how are linked to the overall policies and fisheries management measures is very essential. Also the contribution of fisheries in the national economy and food security is under reported due to inadequate socio-economic information and research. Sustainability of fisheries resource is influenced by socio-economic as well as politics.



TAFIRI Kigoma Centre is currently collaborating with the University of Aarhus (Denmark), Illinois State University (USA), University of Dar es Salaam (Tanzania) and Enavigo Consult a/s (Denmark) in a project called CLEAT to monitor and profile climate impacts to the lake hydrodynamics and fisheries production


TAFIRI Kigoma is collaborating with MATIS Iceland to reduce greenhouse gases emissions and deforestation by advocating the use of energy efficient combined solar dryer and smoker for processing fishes in the lake thereby reducing post-harvest loss and adding value to the fish products.


TAFIRI Kigoma is also collaborating with the Nanjing Institute of Geography and Limnology, Chinese Academy of Sciences (NIGLAS) to execute a lake water quality monitoring program.

TNC Tuungane

​TAFIRI Kigoma Centre is working with the Nature Conservancy through their flagship program in the Lake Tanganyika basin, the TNC Tuungane Project.


2016  Sweke E.A, Kobayashi Y., Makino M. and Sakurai Y. (2016). Comparative job satisfaction of fishers in northeast Hokkaido, Japan for coastal fisheries management and aquaculture development. Ocean and Coastal Management 120:170–179   visit source
2016  Sweke E.A, Assam J.M., Chande A.I., Mbonde A., Mosha M. and Mtui A. (2016). Comparing the performance of protected and unprotected areas in conserving freshwater fish abundance and biodiversity in Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania. International Journal of Biodiversity 2016, Article ID 7139689, 1–7   visit source
2016  Mziray P and Kimirei IA (2016) Bioaccumulation of heavy metals in marine fishes (Siganus sutor, Lethrinus harak, and Rastrelliger kanagurta) from Dar es Salaam Tanzania. Regional Studies in Marine Science 7:72-80. doi:10.1016/j.rsma.2016.05.014   visit source
2015  Kimirei IA, Nagelkerken I, Slooter N, Gonzalez ET, Huijbers CM, Mgaya YD, Rypel AL (2015) Demography of fish populations reveals new challenges in1 appraising juvenile habitat values. Marine Ecology Progress Series 518:225-237    
2015  Su Y., Sweke E.A., Denboh T., Ueda H. and Matsuishi T. (2015). Stock Assessment of Sockeye salmon Oncorhynchus nerka by Using Adaptive Framework Virtual Population Analysis. Nippon Suisan Gakkaishi 81: 418–428   visit source
2015  Sweke E.A., Su Y., Baba S., Denboh T., Ueda H., Sakurai Y. and Matsuishi T. (2015). Catch per Unit Effort Estimation and Factors Influencing it From Recreational Angling of Sockeye Salmon (Oncorhynchus nerka), and management implications in Lake Toya, Japan. Lakes & Reservoirs: Research and Management 20: 1–11   visit source
2014  Igulu MM, Nagelkerken I, Dorenbosch M, Grol MG, Harborne AR, Kimirei IA, Mumby PJ, Olds AD, Mgaya YD (2014) Mangrove Habitat Use by Juvenile Reef Fish: Meta-Analysis Reveals that Tidal Regime Matters More than Biogeographic Region. PloS one 9:e114715    
2014  Loiselle S., Cozar A., Adgo E., Ballatore T., Chavula G., Descy J.-P, Harper D., Kansiime F., Kimirei I.A., Langenberg V., Ma R., Sarmento H., Odada, E. (2014) Decadal Trends and Common Dynamics of the Bio-Optical and Thermal Characteristics of the African Great Lakes. PLoS ONE 9(4): e93656. doi:10.   
2013  Sweke E.A., Assam J.M., Matsuishi T. and Chande A.I. (2013). Fish Diversity and Abundance of Lake Tanganyika: Comparison between Protected Area (Mahale Mountains National Park) and Unprotected Areas. International Journal of Biodiversity 2013: 1–10    visit source
2013  Kimirei I.A., Nagelkerken I., Mgaya Y.D., Huijbers, C.M. (2013). The Mangrove Nursery Paradigm Revisited: Otolith Stable Isotopes Support Nursery-to-Reef Movements by Indo- Pacific Fishes. PLoS ONE 8(6): e66320. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0066320    
2013  Kimirei, I. A., Nagelkerken, I., Trommelen, M., Blankers, P., Hoytema, N., Hoeijmakers, D., Huijbers, C. M., Mgaya, Y. D., Rypel, A. L. (2013). What Drives Ontogenetic Niche Shifts of Fishes in Coral Reef Ecosystems? Ecosystems 16: 783-796. DOI: 10.1007/s10021-013-9645-4    
2012  Ngupula, G. W., Ezekiel, C. N., Kimirei, I. A., Mboni, E., and Kashindye, B. (2012) Physical and chemical characteristics of the Tanzanian inshore and offshore waters of Lake Victoria in 2005-2008. African Journal of Aquatic Science 37(3):339-345    
2011  Kimirei, I. A.; Nagelkerken, I., Griffioen, B., Wagner, C., and Mgaya, Y. D. (2011). Ontogenetic habitat use by mangrove/seagrass-associated coral reef fishes shows flexibility in time and space. Estuarine, coast and Shelf Science 92:47-58    
2010  Descy, J.-P., Tarbe, A.-L., Stenuite, S., Pirlot, S., Stimart, J., Vanderheyden, J., Leporcq, B., Stoyneva, M.P., Kimirei, I. A., Sinyinza, and D., Plisnier, P.-D. (2010). Drivers of phytoplankton diversity in Lake Tanganyika. Hydrobiologia 653:29-44    
2009  Plisnier, P.-D., Mgana, H., Kimirei, I. A., Chande, A. I, Makasa, L., Chimanga, J., Zulu, F., Cocquyt, C., Horion, S., Bergamino, N., Naithani, J., Deleersnijder, E., Andre´, L., Descy, J.-P., Cornet, Y., (2009). Limnological variability and pelagic fish abundance (Stolothrissa tanganicae and Lates stappersii) in Lake Tanganyika. Hydrobiologia 625: 117-134   
2008  Kimirei, I. A., Mgaya, Y. D., and Chande, A. I. (2008) Changes in species composition and abundance of commercially important pelagic fish species in Kigoma area, Lake Tanganyika, Tanzania. Aquatic Ecosystem Health and Management 11:29-35    
2007  Kimirei, I. A. and Mgaya, Y. D. (2007) Influence of environmental factors on seasonal changes in clupeid catches in the Kigoma area of Lake Tanganyika. African Journal of Aquatic Sciences 32: 291-298    
2006  Kimirei, I. A. and Mgaya, Y. D. (2006) Assessment of Lates stappersii (Centropomidae) stock in lift-net fishery in Lake Tanganyika, Kigoma, Tanzania.Tanzania Journal of Science 32:1-12   
2005  Alleman, L. Y., Cardinal, D., Cocquyt, C. C., Plisnier, P.-D., Descy, J.-P, Kimirei, I. A., Sinyenza, D., and Andre, L. (2005). Silicon isotopic fractionation in Lake Tanganyika and its main tributaries. Journal of Great Lakes Research 31:509-519    
2005  J.-P. Descy, M.-A. Hardy, S. Stenuite, S. Pirlot, B. Leporcq, I. A. Kimirei, B. Sekadende, S.R. Mwaitega and D. Sinyenza (2005). Phytoplankton pigments and community composition in Lake Tanganyika. Freshwater Biology 50:668-684.    
2005  Chitamwebwa, D. B. R. and Kimirei, I. A. (2005). Present fish catch trends at Kigoma, Tanzania. Verhandlungen der Internationalen Vereinigung Limnologie 29:373-376.    
2003  Alleman, L.Y., Cardinal, D., Kimirei, I. A., Andre, L. (2003). Distribution and implication of silicon isotopic composition in marine and freshwaters. Geochimica Et Cosmochimica Acta 67, A12-A12.    
2002  Descy, J.-P., P.-D. Plisnier, L. Alleman, L. Andre, D. Chitamwebwa, C. Cocquyt, E. Deleersnijder, I. A. Kimirei, J. Naithani, H. Phiri, D. Sinyenza & W. Vyverman (2002). Climate variability as recorded in Lake Tanganyika (CLIMLAKE). Bulletin of the International Decade for East African Lakes 3-5.    
2015  Chen, S. S. and Kimirei, I. A. (Eds.) (2015) Demonstration Research on Comprehensive Water Quality Monitoring in the Lake Tanganyika Basin. CSTEC and NIGLAS, Nanjing, China. 97p    
2016  Kimirei IA, Igulu MM, Semba M, Lugendo BR. 2016. Small Estuarine and Non-Estuarine Mangrove Ecosystems of Tanzania: Overlooked Coastal Habitats? In: Diop S, Scheren P, Ferdinand Machiwa J editors. Estuaries: A Lifeline of Ecosystem Services in the Western Indian Ocean. Cham: Springer International Publishing. p. 209-226.   

Our Team

Administration Department

Ismael Aaron Kimirei

TAFIRI KIGOMA, Centre Director

 Ismael Aaron Kimirei
Mr Joseph Ngwala


Mr Joseph  Ngwala
Mr Jackson Payowela

Human Resource Officer

Mr Jackson  Payowela

Research Department

Emmanuel A Sweke

Research Officer

 Emmanuel  A Sweke
Mr Tumaini K Kamulali

Assistant Researcher II

Mr Tumaini K Kamulali
Mr Athanasio S Mbonde

Research Officer I

Mr Athanasio  S Mbonde
Mrs Julieth B Mosille

Senior Research Technician

Mrs Julieth B Mosille
Mr Omary Kashushu

Research Technician

Mr Omary   Kashushu
Mr Dickson M Kente

Research Technician

Mr Dickson M Kente
Miss Lovette S Mwansasu

Research Technician

Miss Lovette  S Mwansasu
Mr Deogratias P Mulokozi

Assistant Researcher II

Mr Deogratias  P  Mulokozi
Mr Aman M Albogast


Mr Aman M Albogast
Mr Huruma Mgana


Mr Huruma   Mgana
Mrs Prisca Mziray


Mrs Prisca  Mziray
Mr Oywaya E Edward


Mr Oywaya E  Edward
Mr Julius Assam

Senior Research Technician

Mr Julius  Assam
Mrs Happiness Anold


Mrs Happiness  Anold
Mr Kalangali A Mwakasege

Acting Head of Research Dept

Mr Kalangali  A Mwakasege

Get in touch

Office Address
Bangwe Road,near Tanesco Plant.
P.O.BOX 90,
P: (+255) 282 802 068
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