Directorate of Socioeconomics Research

The directorate aims at undertaking socioeconomics research to promote sustainable use of Blue Economy resources including marine and freshwater fisheries, aquaculture, and other living and non-living aquatic resources for sustainable development and community empowerment. It is responsible for socioeconomic assessment and monitoring, economic valuation, benefit sharing and marketing, economic analysis and community development, and conflict resolution to address cross-cutting issues that influence the management of aquatic resources and environment.

Socioeconomic Assessment and Monitoring

The department is responsible for conducting studies on cultural and religious practices, marine cultural heritage, ocean governance, indigenous knowledge, gender dynamics and special interest groups, conflict resolution, social and economic setting, aquatic resource users and impacts of anthropogenic activities to promote sustainable use of Blue Economy resources for national development.

Economic Valuation and Marketing

The department undertakes economic valuation of aquatic resources, research on benefit sharing, cost-benefits analysis of alternative technologies and livelihood sources among aquatic resource users, development and up-scaling the use of cost-effective market information systems, and market research to inform policy and guide investments.

Economic Analysis and Community Development

The department undertakes livelihood studies, economic analyses to support investments in Blue Economy and related developments, value-chain analyses of fisheries and other aquatic products, provides a forum for linkages with national, regional and international agencies, and participatory management of aquatic resources to enhance social development.


The Directorate advises management on policies and strategies related to the use of marine and freshwater fisheries, aquaculture and aquatic environment for community empowerment and sustainable development; as well as the Board of Management on issues of collaboration and partnerships with other research bodies and institutions of higher learning, county governments, public and private agencies within and outside Kenya to enhance socioeconomics research, and technology and knowledge transfer.  

It is also charged with the role of developing guidelines for planning and implementation of Socioeconomics research and review of policies and protocols on participatory fisheries and other aquatic resources management in liaison with the relevant agencies. Other roles include building stakeholder capacity; and disseminating research findings to promote outreach of Socioeconomics programmes through various channels to the public, relevant government agencies, institutions of higher learning and other research institutions locally and internationally to increase KMFRI’s visibility; and conducting Socioeconomics research and linking with the other directorates in the development and implementation of multidisciplinary research.

Other functions are coordinating development of policy briefs to support participatory management and sustainable use of marine and freshwater resources; as well as development and implementation of policies to guide approval of scientific manuscripts for publication in Socioeconomics Directorate. The Directorate also mobilizes resources for socioeconomics research and development; and is involved in research planning, implementation and monitoring under three technical departments namely.