Thomas Hecht

Professor Emeritus Tom Hecht is regarded as a leading authority in Aquaculture and Fisheries Science, throughout Africa and the West Indian Ocean region. He brings 40 years of science, research and industry development experience to Advance Africa, making it one of the most qualified consulting companies in the subject matter. Tom is highly regarded by his peers and has published in excess of 150 peer reviewed scientific papers.

He has been entrusted by national, regional and local governments to establish development frameworks and policy, governing aquaculture and fisheries sector and industry programmes. Tom works closely with the Advance Africa team in providing guidance to economic feasibility studies and business plans for aquaculture and fisheries management programmes.

Other note-able achievements include:

  • Previous Head of Department of Ichthyology and Fisheries Science, Rhodes University (1987 to 2002)
  • Previous National Aquaculture Policy Committee, Department of Agriculture, South Africa
  • Previous  Chairman of Aquaculture Association of Southern Africa
  • Previous Member of the Mariculture Association of South Africa
  • Previous Chairman of South African Network for Coastal and Oceanic Research (SANCOR)
  • Previous Member of the National Research Foundation (NRF) / Port Elizabeth Technikon Research Programme Advisory Committee
  • Previous Executive member of Mariculture association of South Africa
  • Previous Member of the Consultative Advisory Forum for Marine Fisheries, appointed by Minister of Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism (DEA&T)
  • Previous Chairman of NRF/SANCOR Mariculture Thrust steering committee
  • Previous National aquaculture policy committee (dept. of Agriculture)
  • Previous Chairperson of South African Marine Linefish Management Association
  • Previously on Board of Directors, World Aquaculture Society
  • Ongoing Research ProgrammeAdvisor International Foundation of Science Stockholm
  • Ongoing PhD Proposal Evaluator University of Wageningen (Netherlands)


  • Hecht, T. and Jones, C.L.W. 2009. Use of wild fish and other aquatic organisms as feed in aquaculture – a review of practices and implications in Africa and the Near East.
  • M.R. Hasan and M. Halwart (eds). Fish as feed inputs for aquaculture: practices, sustainability and implications. FAO Fisheries and Aquaculture Technical Paper No. 518. Rome, FAO. pp. 129–157.
  • Potts, W., Hecht, T. & Andrew, T.G. 2008. Does reservoir trophic status influence the feeding and growth of the sharptooth catfish, Clarias gariepinus (Teleostei: Clariidae)? African Journal of Aquatic Science, 33 (2): 149-156
  • Weyl, O.L.F & Hecht, T. 1998. The biology of Tilapia rendalli and Orechromis mossambicus in a subtropical lake in Mozambique. S. Afr. J. Zool. 33: 178 – 188.
  • Hecht, T. & Uys, W. 1997. Effect of density on the feeding and aggressive behaviour in juvenile African catfish, Clarias gariepinus. S.Afr. J. Science 93: 537 – 541.

Senior Management at Advance Africa