Jean-Claude Nourissat was born on June 26th, 1941 and deceased on November 9th, 2003. Jean-Claude was married and had two girls. He had been doctor of surgery-dental at retirement for 2 years.

Jean-Claude had a carnal relationship with water. Salted or soft, clear or dirty, he had to dive there. This element attracted him like a magnet. That quite naturally, directed him towards the diving in apnea and the aquariophily. It was for him two devouring and dangerous passions. 

He hunted the bar with mask and tuba with nearly 45 meters of depth, one or twice per week, in its dear Camargue.

His friend of diving, Jean-Paul, saved him already casting towards Neptune and Jean-Claude found himself at the hospital of Marseilles. That did not deteriorate this passion but decreased, a little, its ardor.

Jean-Claude very early began his passion for aquarist with sea water, then the killis. But a family of fish captivate him: the Cichlids. Thus, in 1980, he was one of the cofounders of Association Cichlid France and was its first President during one year. He took it again this presidency in 1988 to leave it until October 4th, 2003. It knew to give to this association an impulse which carried it at a national and international top (2000 members). Exemplary president and fisherman in the heart, he travelled throughout the world with friends to search his dear Cichlids. Thus, from north to the south, he dived in all the countries of Central America, in Peru, in Brazil to Colombia. But it is Madagascar which had its preference. Each year in October – November, he went there to fish, but also there to support Madagascans inhabitants by sending of whole containers, filled with essential items. Each year, Jean-Claude give us a new film which he made during his travel.

Its turbid water fishings were worth to him the affectionate nickname of “Dad-sludge”, but they especially enabled him to find many unknown or new for science species. Today, two species bear his name forever. These fishings involved many health hazards. He was affected seriously by a medullary bilharziose in 1998 and lived with a chronic paludism, still escaping a fatal outcome. But his determination, his perseverance and his obstinate were right of wisdom, Jean-Claude set out again towards turbid water in the search of Cichlids. This year still in Guatemala, he escaped from bullets with friends. This time still it was not his hour. His last travel was fatal for him, and the element which he liked so much, water, sheltered also his worst enemies.

To keep its dear Cichlids, he built a private greenhouse, can be largest in France, with gigantic aquariums. He acquired an irreplaceable experiment in aquariophily from which he made profit all his friends and aquarists.

Jean-Claude was still cofounder and publication director of a aquarist newspaper, and publication director of his dear French Revue of the cichlidophiles. He wrote many articles, in particular on the biotopes of Cichlids and published with Patrick de Rham a major work on Cichlids of Madagascar.

Jean-Claude had many projects and travels in prospect. He took retreat while resigning of the presidency of the AFC and was named Honorary president on October 4th of this year.

He was an exceptional man, and in its too short life, he achieved exceptional and unforgettable things. His strength of character, his will and his modesty made that he was appreciated and liked of all. He will be regretted by all his friends and knowledge throughout the world. 

(translated from)

Robert ALLGAYER & all members of the Association France Cichlid

Cybium 2004, 28(1): 4.


Yves Fermon

Ichtyologue - Ichthyologist


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