Ian Hampton received a Masters degree in Physics (with Distinction) from the University of Natal in 1972 and has worked in the field of fisheries acoustics for the whole of his professional career. Between 1972 and 1996 he rose from Professional Officer to Senior Specialist Scientist within the Sea Fisheries Research Institute, Cape Town, (now known as Marine and Coastal Management or MCM) heading the Institute’s Surveys and Fish Behaviour section from 1989 to 1996. During that time he led some 40 acoustic surveys of pelagic fish and horse mackerel in South Africa and Namibia, krill in the Antarctic, and squid in South Africa, and published some 50 papers on abundance estimates, survey methodology and fish behaviour in the international and local scientific literature. He was South Africa’s representative on the SCAR/SCOR Group of Specialists on Living Resources of the Southern Ocean from 1981 to 1986, and from 1980 to 1986 was Chairman of its Working Party on acoustic estimation of Antarctic krill abundance. He currently alternates with Michael Soule as a member of SCOR Working Group 118 on New Technologies for Detecting Marine Life and is the Southern African representative on its Working Group on Detection Technologies in Developing Countries.
Ian left the Sea Fisheries Research Institute in 1996 to start a new career as a marine science consultant, and was immediately engaged by the orange roughy fishing industry in Namibia to advise on and participate in the development of orange roughy surveys there. At this time he was also heavily involved in the development and implementation of the joint Angolan/Namibian/South African BENEFIT (Benguela Environment, Fisheries, Interaction and Training) Programme, from co-authoring the Science Plan to initiating, participating in and evaluating marine resources projects.
In 2002 Ian teamed up with Michael Soule to form Fisheries Resource Surveys (FRS), which they co-direct. He is primarily responsible for the initiation and direction of research projects, and participates actively in the planning and execution of surveys and other research activities, and in the analysis and reporting of the results. From the start of his career, Ian has been a firm believer in multi-disciplinary, collaborative approaches to fisheries problems, and adds broad experience in the execution and management of marine science research to his specialized knowledge of fisheries hydroacoustics. In more recent years, he has actively promoted the wider use of commercial vessels for acoustic surveys, which is a strong focus of FRS’ activities.