Despite the generous natural resources of sub-Saharan Africa (SSA), a lack of technical and scientific resources is contributing to a declining economy and standard of living. This is also true when it comes to aquaculture. The EU-funded 'Sustainable aquaculture research networks in sub Saharan Africa' (SARNISSA) project aimed to build a sustainable aquaculture research network between Africa and Europe. The project consortium was set up with a balance of African, American, Asian and European interdisciplinary expertise and experience. SARNISSA partners identified key individuals that contribute to developing aquaculture production or aquaculture research in their own situations. The partners then endeavoured to collaborate and help these individuals set up further research and commercial activities. SARNISSA was also able to identify and match those who could work together for their own mutual benefits. A number of workshops and training programmes were held throughout the duration of the project, exposing even more individuals to the growing aquaculture network. By the end of the project, SARNISSA boasted over 2 000 members and released a portfolio of 35 commissioned case studies. Its website was built up into a unique, comprehensive repository of information, publications and contact lists for all interested parties. Looking forward, different potential organisational plans and structures are being examined by the coordinators. During its three and a half years, the project succeeded in becoming a major network, bringing together thousands of individuals across a range of disciplines in the growing African aquaculture sector.