National Institute for Freshwater Fisheries Research (NIFFR), New Bussa,

National Institute for Freshwater Fisheries Research, New Bussa, was set up in 1968 as “The Kainji Lake Research Project” by the Federal Government of Nigeria with assistance from the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP). The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) was the executing agency while the then Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Natural Resources represented the Federal Government.

By 1975, FAO experts had formally withdrawn their participation and qualified Nigerians took over the mantle of leadership of what came to be known as Kainji Lake Research Institute.

At the initial stage, the mandate of the Institute was to carryout multidisciplinary activities on the Kainji and other man-made lakes in Nigeria in the following areas:-

  • Fisheries, Wildlife, Agriculture, Limnology, Public Health, Sociology,
  • Economics and Range Management with the objective of making
  • The research results available for the development of the country. .

In 1987 the mandate changed to mono-commodity and research activities were centred in the following areas of Freshwater Fisheries and other Aquatic Resources such as:-

(a)  Genetic improvement of freshwater fishes and other aquatic resources in rivers and lakes (Natural and man-made);

(b)   The abundance, distribution and other biological characteristic of freshwater fishes and other aquatic resources;

(c)   Hydrological behaviour of natural and man-made lakes; 

(d)  Limnology of surface and ground water around natural and man-made lakes;

(e)  Rational exploitation and utilization of freshwater aquatic resources;

(f)  Ecological and socio-economic effects of the development of man-made lakes;

(g)  Aquaculture;

(h)   Any other matters related to a-g above.

The Institute shall also:-

  • carry out extension research liaison with Federal and  State Ministries, primary producers, industries and  other users of research results on matters of freshwater  fisheries and other aquatic resources in collaboration  with AERLS:
  • provide technical and vocational training in Freshwater  Fisheries and related fields leading to the award of National Diploma;
  • provide laboratory and other technical services to fish farmers, industry and others concerned with freshwater fisheries problems;
  • in carrying out this mandate, collaborate with all other relevant Research Institutes and Organizations


To be the foremost Research Institute in setting directions for Nigerian Freshwater Fisheries and Aquatic Resources Research and Development


To advance scientific management through research and development in order to improve the livelihood of fishing communities and enhance sustainable exploitation, utilization and conservation of fisheries and other aquatic resources in inland water bodies of Nigeria.

Available training programmes in fisheries/aquaculture in the following areas:

1Fish Feed & ManagementOne (1) week
2Fish Fingerling Production & Hatchery Managementa. Two (2) weeks for fry production only
b. Four (4) weeks for both fry & fingerling production
3Pond Fish Culture & ManagementOne – two (1-2) weeks
4Cage Fish Culture & ManagementOne – two (1-2) weeks
5All – Male Tilapia Fingerling & Table Size Fish ProductionOne – two (1-2) weeks
6Integrated Poultry – Fish FarmingOne – two (1-2) weeks
7Integrated Rice – Fish FarmingOne – two (1-2) weeks
8Entrepreneurship Skills in Fish Processing, Value Addition & Quality ControlOne – two (1-2) weeks
9Dynamics of Group Formation for fish farming BusinessOne (1) week
10Fisheries Extension Techniques for Extension OfficersOne (1) week
11Pond Construction Techniques for Fisheries SuperintendentsOne (1) week
12Global Best Practices for Fish Farm ManagersOne (1) week
13Youth Empowerment in AquacultureOne – two (1-2) weeks
14Women Empowerment in AquacultureOne – two (1-2) weeks
15Systematic Fisheries Data Collection that is Valid for Scientific AnalysisOne – two (1-2) weeks
16Ornamental Fish ProductionOne – two (1-2) weeks
17Water Quality Management Strategies for Aquaculture DevelopmentOne (1) week
18Fishing Laws, Ethics & Regulations for Responsible Fishing & Management for Senior Fisheries Officers/DirectorsOne (1) week
19Sensitization campaign onOne (1) week
Close season & restocking of reservoirs, 
Setting up of fish farms 


Breakthrough/Management Strategies ImpactTechnology Development
Pioneered induced breeding of catfish species in NigeriaAvailability of Catfish fingerlings in NigeriaIncrease in Catfish farming activities in Nigeria (CAFAN)Improved Technology for the Induced breeding of Indigenous Catfishes (Clarias and Heterobranchus sp)
Pioneered hybrid fish developmentProduction of high quality, fast growing and disease-resistant Fingerlings of catfishes, Tilapias, Heterotis etcIncrease in fish yiel0d from fish farmingJob opportunities from fish farmingEmpowerment of women in fish marketingMass production of tilapia, and Heterotis juvenilesImproved Technology for the Induced breeding of Indigenous Catfishes (Clarias and Heterobranchus sp)Year-round egg production and breeding of Indigenous Catfishes (Clarias/Heterobranchus) for fingerling production in the Northern Dry/Low Rainfall Regions of NigeriaAll male production of indigenous tilapia in ponds and reservoirs Production of juveniles Heterotis niloticus 
Pioneered mass-production of zooplankton for fish larval rearingReplaced imported Artemia, thereby conserving foreign exchangeIncreased survival of fish hatchlingsZooplankton sediment inoculum Mass production of zooplankton in fish hatchery
Kainji Solar Tent DryerIncreased shelf-life of fishReduced post-harvest lossesSolar dried fish is comparable to imported stock fishCuts down on CO2 emissionKainji Solar Tent Fish Dryer
Improved Local Traditional (Banda) smoking kilnConserves 42%-65% fuel wood, thereby decreasing deforestationReduces post-harvest lossesCuts down on CO2 emissionImproved Banda fish smoking kiln
Fish Nutrition and Feed ProductionDevelopment of standard feed for fingerlings, juveniles and broodstock of culturable catfish and TilapiaProduction of various types of fish feed using local material Reduced importation of feed due to local production of feed Fish Feed Formulation Technologies using locally available ingredients Locally fabricated hand and mechanical pelleting machine
Development and Patent of Kainji Gas smoking KilnEliminate excessive use of firewood Highly environmental friendlyReduces post-harvest and enhance qualityKainji Gas smoking kiln
Pioneered research in the use of local Bamboo in Cage fish cultureCreate the awareness in cage fish culture in Nigeria and in particular in Niger Delta communityModels for cage fish culture using different net materials Techniques for cage construction
Fish Farming PracticesIncrease in number of successful fish farms in NigeriaEnhanced overall fish farming businessEnhanced employment opportunities in fish farming practicesManagement Strategies and best practices in fish farming
Provision of extensive baseline environmental studies on Nigerian water bodies of agro-ecological zones of NigeriaEnvironmental Impact Assessment of Lake Kainji, Shiroro, Goronyo, Sokoto-Rima, Lafia Agric projects, Dadinkowa, Kiri, Tiga, Oguta, Ojirami, Jebba lake, Agba, IITA reservoir, Jabi, Lower Usman Dam etc.Survey report on inland waterbodies investigated and documented
Production of reference documents on some important aquatic resources in Nigeria, which include: water bodies, ornamental fishes, gear and craft, fishing communitiesInformation on location, size and fisheries potential of inland waterbodies of Nigeria. Also information on fishing gears, ornamental fishes and list of all fishing communities in 36 states and FCT of NigeriaDatabase of inland waterbodies of  NigeriaThree-stage stratified sampling technique for catch assessment of inland water fisheriesGang Polyvinyl-Chloride (PVC) Pipes Trap
Transplantation of fish to the following lakes/riversTiga (Kano): freshwater sardines transferred from Lake Kainji Jankara (Kano): Tilapia transferred to Tiga LakeAgba and Asa (Kwara): Catfish transferred from NIFFR hatcheryTransfers of fish species resulted in increase in secondary productivity and overall increase in fish production of the LakesModified models of fish transportation tanks Management techniques and strategies in fish transplantation
Fish Disease Control and ManagementAwareness of fish disease as integral part of fish farmingFish heat stroke and temperature control in ponds
Water Quality and Control ManagementAwareness of Water Quality as critical component of fish farmingNIFFR Dissolved Oxygen (DO) Colour ChartMechanical Waste Siphon (Manual)
Fish Technology DevelopmentTechnologies Developed to enhance quality and value addition to fish  productsImproved Fish Retail TableModified Drum Kiln (MDK)NIFFR Fish Chin-Chin
Taxanomic description of new speciesDescription of new species of Malapterus electricus (On a new species of electric catfish from Kainji Nigeria with some observation on its biology) J. Fish Biology 30: 75-89 (1987)Description of new species of parasites of tilapia including M. kaijie for Nigeria and West African Sub-region. (Myxosporea (Protozoa) infection of cultured tilapia in Nigeria) J. Afr. Zool. 104: 77-91 (1990)Description of new species of Zooplankton in Nigeria and West Africa Sub-region (Notes on the taxonomy and distribution  of Brachionus durgae Dhanapathi 1974 (Rotifer: Bracshionidae) J. Afr. Zool 108:397-400 (1994)New fish species New parasite species New rotifer species
Pioneered design, construction and installation of mechanical boom for the control of Water hyacinth on Lake Kainji.Prevention of almost collapsed fisheries of Lake Kainji and River NigerImproved navigationImproved fish yield and catches of Lake KainjiMechanical boom barrier technology  for control of water hyacinth
Short-term training of middle and high level manpowerImproved professional skills and increased fish productionNIFFR as Centre formal and informal academic knowledge acquisition and practical skills for fishers
Training of Students on industrial attachmentEnhanced linkage with all universities of agriculture and colleges of agriculture in NigeriaNIFFR as Centre for formal and informal academic knowledge acquisition and practical skills for fishers
Training of private fish farmers and workshops on Sustainable Livelihood Approach (SLA) and Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries (CCRF)63 fisheries and rural development officers have been trainedOutreach practical skills training on fish farming practices at Owerri, Gboko, Delta and MakurdiEnhanced the establishment of private fish farms and hatchery in the Middle Belt area of NigeriaFormal and informal academic knowledge acquisition and practical skillsManagement strategies in the establishment of successful private fish farms
Execution of Community projects for poor women fish processors at Tatabu and Tunga MairawaImproved income and livelihood, poverty reduction, women empowerment, and livelihood diversificationCooperative formation
Establishment of Private fish seed production business centre for Gboko Cooperative Fish FarmersOver 200 fish farmers have been trained; Increased brookstock farming in Gboko area has resulted in Gboko as a centre for Clarias  and Heterobranchus broodstock supply to fish farmers in NigeriaFish farming entrepreneurship 
Provision of resident fish breeders increased breeding services to private farms at Imo, Gboko and AbujaIncreased fingerlings and broodstock production at Imo, Gboko and AbujaIncrease in earnings for fingerlings and broodstock productionResidency of breeders on breeding and hygiene practices
Computerization of NIFFR Library. Installation of wireless Internet facility and GPS SystemEasy retrieval of information/documentsIncreased user-friendly atmosphere of researchers from universitiesICT on library useage
Production of Nigerian Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences Database and its AbstractsEffective bibliographic production and dissemination of Nigerian fisheries informationUser aid to Fisheries bibliography
NIFFR now ASFA Input Centre for Nigerian Fisheries and Aquatic SciencesNigerian fisheries literature are imputed into international database, thereby making them internationally accessibleLinkage and literature inter library exchange
Linkages, collaboration, outreach programmes, trade fairs, agricultural shows, open days, Research in use platforms, conferences, seminars, workshopsIncreases in partnerships, linkages and collaboration with private fish farmers, agencies, Research Centres etcAwareness of Institute activities with neighbouring countries Cameroon, Benin Republic Mali, also  Egypt, Burkina Faso, Liberia, Malawi, Niger, Ethiopia in area of AquaculturesEnhances demand driven Research for development

  1. Fish Preservation & Storage Technologies
TechnologyResearch OutputBriefPartnership
Improved Fish Retail TableEnhanced hygiene and pest controlFurther research
Ice BoxSimple wood and Styrofoam boxes for carrying fishCommercialization
Solar tentSimple renewable use of sun light for drying non fatty fishResearch/commercialization
Briqutte machine & Briquettes produced from composite materials for fish drying
Modernized Smoking Kiln (1 Tonne – 1,000Kg Capacity) & Smoked fish using the modernized smoking kiln
  • Aquaculture Technologies
TechnologyResearch OutputBriefPartnership
Fish Genetic and Engineering    Triploid productionSupper male tilapia productionAll male tilapia productionGenetic improvement of culture speciesResearch/capacity building and commercialization
Improved Technology for the Induced Breeding of Indigenous CatfishesInduced spawning of eggsManual stripping of eggs from the females Outdoor management of fryCommercialization
Mass fingerlingFingerling production through induced breeding, and advanced practice in the management of fry and fingerling to achieve over 70% survival rateResearch/commercialization
Year-round Egg Production and Breeding of Indigenous CatfishesAdvanced techniques in the breeding of catfishesResearch/commercialization
Zooplankton Sediment InoculumsAdvanced techniques in the mass production and sedimentationResearch/commercialization
Fish Feed FormulationVarious standard fish formula for fingerling, juvenile, broodstock,  of tilapia and catfishes etc.Research/capacity building and commercialization
Integrated Fish FarmingDesign, construction and establishment of Rice-cum and Poultry-cum fish farmingResearch/capacity building and commercialization
Broodstock productionSelective breeding, and best practices, enhanced feed and feeding practice for production of good quality broodstockResearch/commercialization
Fish Transportation TechnologyFabrication of tanksPolythene bagsResearch
Bamboo fish cage culture platformConstruction of cage platforms using bamboo, with harpers and protective netsCommercialization
Pond constructionDesigns and construction of ponds and reservoir, channels in relation to topography and site locationResearch/capacity building
Rice-cum-fish cultureDesign, construction and management of rice-cum-fish farmResearch
TechnologyResearch OutputBriefPartnership
Research in use managementTraining techniques in SLA, PRO, outreach programme, cooperative formation.Capacity building
Gear ConstructionDesign and construction of various gear suitable for Inland waterbodiesResearch/capacity building
Biological Control of Aquatic WeedsUse of weevils and fungi infestation  Research and Capacity Building
Aquatic Weed UtilizationUtilization of Aquatic Weeds for medicinal and food condimentsResearch
Three-Stage Stratified Sampling Technique for Catch Assessment of Inland Water FisheriesEnhanced biological and statistical techniques in sampling, catch assessment and sustainable management  of fisheries of waterbodyResearch/capacity building
NIFFR Dissolved Oxygen (DO) Colour ChartSimple fill techniques for measuring Dissolved Oxygen (DO)Research/capacity building
Fish Disease TechniquesSimple fill techniques and experiences for the assessment of fish health and hygiene controlResearch/capacity building
Water Testing KitsEquipment for measuring water parameters in aquaculture
Mechanical Waste Siphon (Manual)Mechanical process of removing waste in AquariumCommercialization