The Directorate of Oceans & Coastal Systems and Blue Economy (OCS & BE)

The Directorate of Oceans & Coastal Systems and Blue Economy (OCS & BE) Research is established pursuant to section 14 of the Science and Technology Act Cap 250 and the repeals and transitional provisions in section 47 of the Science Technology and Innovation Act (STI) No. 28 of 2013.
The Directorate undertakes fisheries, environmental, ecological, chemical and physical oceanographic research in the marine and coastal environment in order to generate knowledge for the sustainable management and development of the Blue Economy resources for enhanced socio-economic benefits to Kenyans.

Marine and Coastal Fisheries Research

Undertaking research activities in Marine & Coastal Fisheries and the Blue Economy in order to generate data to inform the investing in and development of blue economy

Oceanography and Hydrography

Undertaking research activities in oceanography and hydrography in order to generate knowledge on processes that modify water movement, water & seabed resources, climate, weather and related economic activities;

Laboratory Services

Providing laboratory technical services for Oceans and Coastal Systems and the Blue Economy research.

Maritime Services

The department will provide maritime services to all the directorates at Mombasa Center


KMFRI Oceans and Coastal Directorate collaborative research with both local and International Universities such as University of Nairobi (UoN), Pwani University (PU), Technical University of Mombasa (TUM), Kisii University (Kenya), University of Eldoret (Kenya), Egerton University (Kenya), University of Karatina. Internationally the Directorate is collaborating with Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University, University of Edinburg, Napier University, Free University of Brussels, Flememish University, Erasmus Mundos, Stockholm University, University of Dar es Salaam among others. Researchers in the Directorate have running projects with the following partners WIOMSA, The PEW Charitable Trusts, UNEP, UNESCO, GEF, UK Global Challenges Research Fund, IFS, SAPPHIRE, Rufford Grant, Leibniz Centre for Tropical Marine Research (ZMT), World Bank- (KEMSFED), SWIOFC,  Institute of Marine Science Norway, Institute of Marine Science -Zanzibar,   SIDA, The Nature Conservancy (TNC), Wildlife Conservation Society for Blue Action Fund (BAF), Wildlife Conservation Society for Blue Natural Capitol Financing Facility (BNCFF), IOC-UNESCO, WWF among others.
Locally the Directorate is liaising with County Governments, NEMA, KFS, KeFS, National Research Foundation (NRF), Kenya Prison Services, WARMA, Coast Water Services and


In fisheries, the Directorate conducts routine monthly Catch Assessment surveys at 15 landing sites along the Kenya coast spanning all the five coastal counties (Kwale, Mombasa, Kilifi, Tana River and Lamu) collecting biological data on key species needed for estimating fish growth, maturity and fishing mortality and deriving the stock status. Outputs include annual catch and biological data collected which is archived in a database for estimation of total fish production.  Status of the stocks harvested which will inform management.

The Institute Research vessel RV Mtafiti has also facilitated research into new frontiers and surveyed the whole of Kenyan EEZ. This has provided insights into the potential breeding and fishing areas in territorial and EEZ waters. Consequently areas of high fish productivity have been identified such as Lamu and the North Kenya Banks. The surveys contribute information on stock status of fish and ways of exploring the Blue Economy, and promote collaboration in the protection of coastal ecosystems. Additionally, It also allows us to think of research including bioprospecting in the Economic Exclusive Zone and Areas Beyond National Jurisdictions.