WorldFish launched a new six-year strategy last week aimed at boosting sustainable aquaculture production and small-scale fisheries in developing countries. The strategy, aligned to the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), sees increased emphasis on the development of improved fish breeds and feeds, strengthening fisheries governance, and delivering nutrition outcomes.
“Sustainable aquaculture practices offer water, energy, and feed conversion efficiencies superior to any other domesticated animal food production system—and fish is the only animal-source food that can be produced in saltwater, offering unique advantages for climate resilient production,\" stated Nigel Preston, Director General, WorldFish. \"The new WorldFish strategy outlines ambitious targets that will maximize the nutritional and livelihood benefits for millions of the world’s most vulnerable people.”
To boost yields, WorldFish will build on its long-running tilapia and carp breeding programs to develop new knowledge and technology in improved breeds, fish health, aquafeeds and management practices. Projections are that this will directly benefit 5 million producer households, with targets of increasing sustainable production by another 4.8 million tonnes annually in some of the world’s poorest countries.
WorldFish will develop and implement novel aquaculture and fisheries production systems, in particular fish-rice systems, research methods to reduce post-harvest waste and losses and continue to develop novel fish-based products such as the fish chutney piloted in Bangladesh. The aim is that this work will result in 2.4 million fewer people suffering from micronutrient deficiencies and help 4.7 million more women of reproductive age achieve a more balanced diet.
Blake Ratner, Director General Designate, WorldFish: “Our strategy focuses on the three interlinked challenges of sustainable aquaculture, resilient small-scale fisheries and enhancing the contributions of fish to nutrition of the poor in the places where we can make the most difference. These challenges will only be met by partnering with the communities, research innovators, entrepreneurs and investors who give fisheries and aquaculture its dynamism and promise.”
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