Dr. John Okechi

Dr. John Okechi is an aquaculture and fisheries conservation researcher at the Aquaculture Division, KMFRI Kisumu Research Center, and specializes in aquaculture production and biodiversity conservation. He holds a BSc in Agriculture from the University of Nairobi, Kenya, an MSc in Aquaculture from Ghent University, Belgium, and a PhD from Boston University, USA. He has research experience covering diverse aspects of freshwater aquaculture, fisheries, and biodiversity conservation in freshwater ecosystems. His research encompasses interactions between cage aquaculture, community dynamics and ecosystem functioning and responses to anthropogenic and climatic changes. He also has research interests in culture and propagation of selected freshwater species; innovation and transfer of aquaculture technology to target groups; wetland fisheries management, sustainable utilization and conservation of resources.

KMFRI Kisumu Research Centre
Aquaculture production and biodiversity conservation.
Freshwater fish culture, environment, fish biodiversity and conservation

PhD (Biology), Boston University, Boston, MA, USA 

MSc (Aquaculture), Ghent University, Gent, Belgium 

BSc (Agriculture), University of Nairobi, Nairobi, Kenya


  • Okechi, J. K., Peoples, N., Nyamweya, C. S., Glaser, S., & Kaufman, L. (2022). The ecological health of Lake Victoria (Kenya) in the face of growing cage aquaculture. Conservation Science and Practice, e12826.
  •  Lee, J., Lesneski, K., Donnellan, K., DiRoberts, L., Lindseth, A., Okechi, J., ... & Finnerty, J. (2018). Morphological and physiological differences among alternative morphs of the queen conch (Lobatus gigas) near Calabash Caye, Belize.
  • Orina, P., Ogello, E., Kembenya, E., Muthoni, C., Musa, S., Ombwa, V., Okechi, J, ... & Karoza, S. (2021). The state of cage culture in Lake Victoria: A focus on sustainability, rural economic empowerment, and food security. Aquatic Ecosystem Health & Management24(1), 56-63.
  • Musa, S., Aura, C. M., & Okechi, J. K. (2021). Economic analysis of tilapia cage culture in Lake Victoria using different cage volumes. Journal of Applied Aquaculture, 1-19.
  • Hamilton, S. E., Gallo, S. M., Krach, N., Nyamweya, C. S., Okechi, J. K., Aura, C. M., ... & Kaufman, L. (2020). The use of unmanned aircraft systems and high-resolution satellite imagery to monitor tilapia fish-cage aquaculture expansion in Lake Victoria, Kenya. Bulletin of Marine Science96(1), 71-93.
  • Njiru, J. M., Aura, C. M., & Okechi, J. K. (2019). Cage fish culture in Lake Victoria: A boon or a disaster in waiting?. Fisheries Management and Ecology26(5), 426-434.
  • Aura, C. M., Musa, S., Yongo, E., Okechi, J. K., Njiru, J. M., Ogari, Z., ... & Oucho, J. A. (2018). Integration of mapping and socio?economic status of cage culture: Towards balancing lake?use and culture fisheries in Lake Victoria, Kenya. Aquaculture research49(1), 532-545.
  • Mwamburi J, Yongo E, Aura MC, Babu MJ, Basweti MG, Gichuru NN, Guya F, Nyaboke H, Nyamweya C, Nyaundi KJ, Odoli CO, Ogwai AC, Okechi J, Ombwa V, Omwega R, Ongore C, Owili M, Owiti H and Wawiye IP.(2018). Balancing Community needs and Resource Protection: The Case of Lake Kanyaboli, Kenya.  J. Biodivers Endanger Species 6-2
  • Rutaisire, J., Okechi, J., Boera, P., & Ssekaayi, J. (2010). Epidemiological factors affecting survival of African catfish Clarias gariepinus larvae, fry and fingerlings in hatcheries in Uganda. In 
  • Rutaisire, J., Okechi, J., Boera, P. and Ssekaayi, J. 2010. Epidemiological Factors Affecting Survival of African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus) Larvae, Fry and Fingerlings in Hatcheries in Uganda.Pages 195-204. In  Mdegela,R., Rutaisire, J., Obua, J. and Okoth, S (Eds). Fisheries and Aquaculture Cluster Proceeding. Proceedings of the Cluster Workshop, Mwanza, Tanzania, 12-14 December 2010 (pp. 195-204). Inter-University Council for East Africa Lake Victoria Research Initiative.ISBN: 978-9970-452-01-9
  • Rutaisire, J., Kabenesa, C., Okechi, J. K., & Boera, P. N. (2007). Integration of Gender Issues in Wetland Clariid Fish Production and· Acquisition of Technology far their Breeding in the Lake Victoria Basin. Gender and Social Issues in Natural Resource Managemernt Research for Development, 113. In Fiona Flintan and Shibru Tedla (Eds). Gender and Social Issues in Natural Resource Management. ISBN: 978-99944-55-19-5
  • Okechi, J.K.Pall, J., 2005. Profitability Assessment of Fish Farming in Lake Victoria Basin, Kenya: A Case study of the African Catfish (Clarias gariepinus). Project submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Fisheries Training Programme, Marine Research Institute, Reykjavik, Iceland.63p.
  • Website: http://www.unuftp.is/Proj04/OkechiPRF04.pdf.
  • Okechi, J.K. 2003. Community based aquaculture in Lake Victoria basin (Kenya) – Resource potential, opportunities and threats. [Abstract].
  • Website: www.bio.uu.nl/intecol/programme/cnt_abstract.php?frm=T5_po2_573.pdf.
  • Okechi, J.K. 1999. Optimization in the Closed Re- Circulation Rearing Technique of the Rotifer Brachionus plicatilis. MSc, Thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of the requirements for the academic degree of Master of Science in Aquaculture. University of Gent, Gent, Belgium. 71 p.
  • Okechi, J. K., & Polovina, J. J. (1995). An evaluation of artificial shelters in the artisanal spiny lobster fishery in Gazi Bay, Kenya. South African Journal of Marine Science16(1), 373-376.
Author book chapters in:
  • Munguti J., Obiero K, Orina P, Mirera D., Kyule D., Mwaluma J., Opiyo M., Musa S., Ochiewo J. Njiru. J, Ogello E. & Hagiwara A (Eds) (2021). State of Aquaculture Report in Kenya 2021: Towards Nutrition Sensitive Fish Food Systems. Techplus Media House Nairobi 190 p
  • Orina, P. S., Ogello, E., Kembenya, E., Githukia, C., Musa, S., Ombwa, V., ... & Okechi, J. K. (2018). State of Cage Culture in Lake Victoria, Kenya.Laxpress Services, Nairobi, Kenya. 62 p. ISBN: 978-9966-114-79-2.
  • Charo-Karisa, H., Munguti, J., Ouma, H., Masai, M.D., Opiya, M., Okechi J.K. 2011.
  • Aquaculture Planning, Record Keeping and Economics. Pages 3-18. In “A Fish Farmer’s Manual For Beginners, Students and Hatchery Managers”. Riverbrooks Communication Network, Nairobi, Kenya. 99pp.  ISBN N0. 9966-7336-2-0.
  • Okechi, J.K., Polovina, J.J. 1994. The Spiny Lobster Fishery of Kenya. Pages 103 – 107. In
  • Phillips, B.F; Cobb, J.S and Kittaka, J. (eds). Spiny Lobster Management, Blackwell Scientific Publications, Oxford, UK 576pp.
Professional bodies affiliation
  • New England Cichlid Association
  • Western Indian Ocean Marine Science Association (WIOMSA)
  • Intergovernmental Oceanographic Commission (IOC)-UNESCO
  • Sustainable Aquaculture Research Networks in Sub Saharan Africa (SARNISSA)
  • East African Water Association (EAWA)