Nigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research

Biological Oceanography

Yakub Ademola Semiu

Director Of Biological Oceanography


  • Focus on marine ecology with emphasis on the life-supporting potential of marine waters in general and the extent to which they can sustain commercial stocks.
  • Benthic and Planktonic Communities Studies
  • Nutrient Status and Productivity Studies
  • Biological Assays
  • Environmental Microbiology

The department has 2 Sections and eight Units as follows

Environmental Factors and Physiological Mechanisms

Productivity and Biodiversity

Some Key Achievements
And Implications On National Development

Acquisition of data on spatiotemporal distributions of Physico-chemical parameters and biological characteristics of Nigeria’s marine/coastal waters for:

  • For effective management of fisheries, other biological resources, and biodiversity in Nigeria’s Marine Ecosystems.
  • For the projected National Water Quality Atlas for Aquaculture purposes especially in coastal zones
  • As baseline information against which future anthropogenic impacts can be detected and evaluated
  • For formulation of regulatory standards and guidelines by various regulatory authorities such as those for Fisheries, Environment, Health, Recreation/Tourism

Establishment of the sources, distribution and biological effects of inorganic and organic pollutants; pathogenic microbes and industrial effluents. The data pool generated useful in:

  • Evaluating the safety of sea foods for human consumption
  • Assessing the adequacy of and compliance with appropriate legislations and standards as issued by the relevant authorities.

Establishment of a toxicity ranking for common toxicants in the Nigerian coastal waters and susceptibility ranking of some marine/brackish water animals to intoxication by the identified toxicants.

Establishment of physiological responses marine organisms to organic and inorganic xenobiotics (e.g. Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons and Heavy Metals) in environmental monitoring

Such information are invaluable for environmental management especially in:

  • Ensuring environment-friendly application of chemicals in marine environment
  • Regulating discharge of effluents in the coastal water bodies

Collaborations With Other Organizations

The department collaborates with the following organizations:

  1. Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) in:
    • Implementation of Ballast Water Management Convention in Nigeria
    • Marine Litter and Plastics Management in Nigeria
    • Implementation of International Oil Pollution Compensation (IOPC) Funds in Nigeria

  2. National Oil Spill Detection and Response Agency (NOSDRA) especially on National Oil Spill Contingency Plan (NOSCP)