Aquaculture for Food Security, Poverty Alleviation and Nutrition

Partners

Food and Agriculture Organisation of the United Nations

The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) is a non-profit Inter-governmental organisation under the United Nations system. Its mandate is to raise the levels of nutrition, agricultural productivity, better the lives of rural populations and contribute to the growth of world economy. The Aquaculture Service is responsible for overall development and management of aquaculture, status and trends reporting in aquaculture, and development of appropriate principles, norms, and guidelines to improve aquaculture sustainability. The Fisheries and Aquaculture Department of FAO has been responsible for developing the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries. FAO manages knowledge and information related to all aspects of food and agriculture, provides a neutral forum for members to discuss important and emerging issues and provides technical assistance to member countries.

Key personnel

Dr Rohana Subasinghe

Dr. Rohana Subasinghe, Senior Aquaculture Officer at FIRA/FI, specialist on aquaculture development and aquatic animal health management. He has worked in all parts of the world, with most experience in Asia. He is responsible for many projects on aquaculture and aquatic animal health at national, regional and international levels worldwide. Among others, at FAO, he is also responsible for analysis of trends in aquaculture development globally and serves as Technical Secretary of the FAO COFI Sub-Committee on Aquaculture.

WorldFish Center

The WorldFish Center is an international, non-profit, non-governmental organisation working in partnership with a wide range of government and non-governmental agencies at regional, national and local levels in the developing world, and with advanced research institutions and development partners worldwide. The Center has 250 staff members, including 50 Ph.D. scientists based in 13 offices in 11 countries across Asia, Africa and the Pacific. Work is conducted in more than 25 countries with more than 200 partners representing 50 countries. WFC is one of 15 centers supported by the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR), a group of investors worldwide including governments, development banks, philanthropic organizations and development institutions. With partners, WFC carry out research-in-development to improve small-scale fisheries and aquaculture. Key competencies are in the fields of aquaculture and genetic improvement, policy, economics and social sciences and natural resource management. This inter-linked set of disciplines together provides a wide range of research and analytical skills to deliver solutions for improving small-scale aquaculture and sustainable aquaculture in the developing world. WFC is uniquely qualified for this project, due to its deep understanding of the aquaculture sector, strong impact-oriented development focus and wide partnership network in public and private sectors in the developing and developed world.

Key personnel

Dr Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilstead

Dr Shakuntala Haraksingh Thilsted, Senior Nutrition Adviser, leads a global programme on “Agriculture for Improved Nutrition and Health”, focusing on aquatic agriculture systems and supply of essential micronutrients from common small fish and other aquatic animals. She has worked within the area of food and nutrition security in many low-income countries in Africa and Asia, setting up research projects, designing and implementing programmes and assisting with capacity building of universities and national research institutions, as well as advising governments and international and regional agencies.

Institute of Development Studies

IDS is one of the world’s leading organisations for research, teaching and communications on international development. The Institute works with a network of global partners from developed and developing countries to generate cutting-edge knowledge as basis for bringing alternative ideas and fresh solutions to real world challenges of development policy and practice. Founded in 1966, IDS holds an international reputation for the quality of its work and its intellectual rigour. The Institute is home to approximately 100 researchers, 40 knowledge services staff, 65 support staff and about 200 students at any one time. IDS has been involved in several research or assessment projects related to health, food and nutritional security, including an on-going project ‘Home-grown school feeding’ funded by Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, a DFID-funded project ‘Systematic review on the impact of interventions to increase agricultural production on children's nutritional status’, a DFID-funded project ‘Developing a conceptual framework to improve understanding of reducing chronic poverty and malnutrition in Malawi’, a project on ‘Hunger commitment index’, and a Save the Children funded ‘Research into DFID/EC efforts to tackle chronic malnutrition’. The institute is based in Sussex, United Kingdom.

Key personnel

Dr Chris Béné

Dr Chris Béné, Senior Fellow of the Vulnerability and Poverty Reduction Team is an ecologist and economist by training. Over the last 10 years, he has been involved in several international expert consultations with FAO, the World Bank, UK-DFID and the Challenge Programme on Food and Water. Numerous publications on poverty and natural resource exploitation in developing countries; involved in several projects related to fish, food security and poverty alleviation; lead author to the FAO Fisheries Technical Paper No.481 ‘Increasing the contribution of small-scale fisheries to poverty alleviation and food security’ and project leader of the project ‘Food security and poverty alleviation through improved valuation and governance of river fisheries in Africa’. He also worked in relation to aquaculture as leader of the EC-funded project ‘Policy Research for Sustainable Shrimp Farming in Asia. A Comparative Analysis with particular reference to institutional and socio-economic aspects’, with fieldwork and partners in Asia. He was the convener of the Special Session ‘Fish and Food security: Trading global growth for malnutrition of the poor?’ at the 2010 International Institute for Fisheries Economics and Trade Conference in Montpellier.

Centre of the Economics and Management of Aquatic Resources

The Centre for the Economics and Management of Aquatic Resources (CEMARE) is based within the Portsmouth Business School at the University of Portsmouth. Since its establishment in the early 1960s to promote multi-disciplinary research into marine resources, it has developed into an international centre for research, consultancy, training and advanced studies in fisheries economics and management, aquaculture, recreational and freshwater fisheries management and coastal zone management. The Centre, building on the interests and expertise of its members, provides economic, institutional and legal specialisations within the broad area of the management of aquatic resources. In the 2008, the recently-published Research Assessment Exercise (RAE) results, CEMARE was assessed as “of a world-leading standard” by the assessment panel.  Moreover, the panel said there was “evidence of world-leading esteem in connection with policy advice and consultancy”. Furthermore, it was pointed out that CEMARE has had significant success in raising outside research funds, and that a number of staff held editorial roles in learned journals.

Key personnel

Professor Trond Bjorndal

Professor Trond Bjorndal, Director of CEMARE; Visiting Professor at Imperial College London and Distinguished Research Fellow at the Institute for Research in Economics and Business Administration, Norway. He is past Chairman of the Board of WFC, Professor Bjorndal received his PhD in economics from the University of British Columbia.  He has been professor or visiting professor at the Norwegian School of Economics, Simon Fraser University, University of British Columbia, Humboldt University of Berlin and University College London and lectured at numerous other universities worldwide.  He has been Research Director, the Centre for Fisheries Economics SNF, Bergen and Dean, the Norwegian School of Economics.  Professor Bjorndal is former President of the International Institute of Fisheries Economics and Trade.  Over the years, he has undertaken consulting for governmental agencies and departments as well as international organizations such as the FAO, OECD, UNDP and the World Bank.  As member of the Board of the WorldFish Centre, and chairman for the past three years, he has been exposed to fisheries and aquaculture issues in Africa, Asia and the Pacific region.  In 2007, he was part of the Independent Expert Evaluation team that undertook a major evaluation of the FAO, with prime responsibility for fisheries and aquaculture.

Department of Human Nutrition, University of Copenhagen

The Department of Human Nutrition is internationally recognised for research and education in a wide range of fields within human nutrition. Within the department, the Research group of Paediatric and International Nutrition has established special expertise in performing studies of healthy and undernurished infants and children. The research includes monitoring growth, body composition, development milestones as well as cardiovascular measures, physical activity and food consumption pattern. Specifically in the field of international nutrition, the group has special expertise in performing studies in developing countries aimed at establishing scientific basis for for development programmes that may contribute to alleviating malnutrition. In collaboration with local partners, the Department examined the effects of diet and micronutrient supplementation on growth and nutrient status in pregnant women and children; examined the relation between nutritional status and infections (TB, HIV) and studied the relations between food production/availability, diet, nutrient intake and nutritional status.

Key personnel

Dr Nanna Roos

Dr Nanna Roos, Associate Professor with extensive experience in research and research capacity in the linkages between human nutrition and aquaculture and fisheries. She completed a Ph.D. on aquaculture and nutrition in Bangladesh, which emphasized the potential for integrating nutrient dense small indigenous fish species in rural polyculture pond production to the benefit of increasing the intake of important micronutrients. This was followed up by 10 years continued engagement in research and research capacity building with focus on nutrition in developing countries, specifically the role of fish and other aquatic animals in food and nutrition security. The research has been conducted through research projects funded by the research council of Danida, The Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Denmark, and by international donors. She is at present in charge of the project “Alleviating childhood malnutrition in developing countries through improved utilization and processing of traditional foods – WINFOOD” (2008-2012) (www.WINFOOD.ORG), with collaborative research in Cambodia and Kenya. Within the WinFood project in Cambodia, food for young children based on rice, indigenous fish and an edible spider have been developed in collaboration with research partners in Fisheries Administration and a local SME, ‘So’Nutritious’. The project is in collaboration with the World Food Programme (WFP) and a local NGO now being tested for nutritional impact (growth, body composition, micronutrient status, physical activity, development milestones) in a randomized intervention study with 440 children age 6-15 months. This research project is a continuation of previous collaborative research projects with focus on fish as a source of nutrients in poor households, e.g. “The role of fish on food and nutrition security in developing countries: focus on combating micronutrient deficiency” (2004-2007) and “Content and bioavailability of iron, zinc and vitamin A in commonly consumed foods in developing countries” (2001-2004).

University of Stavanger

The University of Stavanger, Norway, has about 8000 students and 1000 administration, faculty and service staff. The university has a particular focus on primary industries and research management. Important research areas are organised in multidisciplinary research programmes, and the Department of Industrial Economics is part of the programme for Food Markets. Core research activities focus on seafood markets, aquaculture production and aquaculture in the environment. Researchers have been involved in a number of international projects with funding from institutions like the EU, FAO, OECD and WTO. Recently, researchers (including Frank Asche) have been a part of the team that developed the FAO fish price index.

Key personnel

Dr Frank Asche, Professor of Economics, received his Ph.D. from the Norwegian School of Economics and Business Administration. He has been a visiting scholar at the University of British Columbia and the University of Rhode Island, and a member of the science advisory board for the Worldfish Centre. He is President of the International Association of Aquaculture Economics and Management and Associate Editor for Marine Resource Economics. His research interests focus on aquaculture and seafood markets, but he has also been doing work in fisheries management and energy economics. Recent research topics include international trade with seafood and the organization of the seafood supply chain as well as the impact of productivity development on aquaculture and seafood markets. He has published numerous articles in international journals, and was in 2010 a co-author on two papers in Science. He edited the book Primary Industries facing Global Markets in 2007, and has co-authored the book The Economics of Aquaculture with Trond Bjørndal (Blackwell, 2011). He has also written a number of popular scientific articles, undertaken a number of research projects in Norway as well as for international organizations like the FAO, OECD and the World Bank, and served on the expert panel on a new law of the management of marine resources in Norway.

Network of Aquaculture Centres in Asia-Pacific

NACA is an intergovernmental organisation, owned by its member governments, with currently 18 country-members in the Asia pacific region. The objective of NACA is the expansion of sustainable aquaculture and small-scale aquatic resources management, through the promotion of science-based best practices in policy, sector management and farm management. Its current work program emphasizes aquaculture for rural development, environmental sustainability and improved aquatic resources management, focused on poverty alleviation and food security. NACA has nearly 20 years of experience in successfully conducting, implementing and ensuring uptake of results-oriented regional projects with multiple partners. NACA has an extensive network of institutions in the member and its professional staff works in collaboration with professional expertise drawn from such institutions on issues relating to poverty alleviation through aquaculture and aquatic resources management. NACA also cooperates with international agencies such as FAO, OIE, The World Bank, ACIAR, WWF, ADB, APEC, WFC, IDRC, and regional organizations such as MRC, and SEAFDEC on issues pertaining to aquaculture and aquatic resources management that are of relevance to poverty alleviation and export generation to its member countries.

NACA has been involved in promoting responsible and sustainable aquaculture through the development and implementation of better management practices (BMP). The lessons learned and experience gained strongly suggest that BMPs is the gateway to ensuring sustainability of small scale aquaculture and meeting modern day market challenges and opportunities. BMP projects, in India, Indonesia, Thailand and Vietnam provide good examples of translating the principles of responsible aquaculture into specific BMPs adapted to local farming conditions and ensuring their implementation by relevant stakeholders, with consequent gains in production, quality improvements and market accessibility.

Bangladesh Fisheries Research Forum

The Bangladesh Fisheries Research Forum (BFRF) is an outcome of the DFID-funded ‘Support for University Fisheries Education and Research (SUFER) Project’ implemented by the University Grants Commission (UGC) from 1999 to 2004. The aim of the SUFER was to improve the ability of the universities fisheries education and research in Bangladesh to support building the capability of aquatic resource development in ways that particularly focus the needs of the poor. On completion of the project period, SUFER handed over its responsibilities to BFRF by adopting the latter’s constitution in March 2004 through a national workshop held in Dhaka. BFRF is a national, non-political and non- profit professional body with memberships from the universities, DOF, BFRI, BFDC, NGOs, private sectors, other departments involved and committed to fisheries and aquatic resources development. It is an umbrella organization with missionary zeal to serve the fisheries sector through enhancing collaboration among various stakeholders. BFRF envisions promoting action, innovative and adaptive research in the fisheries sector relevant to development needs, reduction of poverty and improvement of livelihood of the people. At present, BFRF has more than 500 individual members (life and associate) from about 50 organizations – the DoF, BFRI, NGOs, private entrepreneurs and CBOs who are involved in development and research of the fish sector of Bangladesh. The main objectives of the BFRF are to: 1) develop networking among fisheries professionals and institutions in different public and private sectors; 2) share and exchange of knowledge and experience gained through research, extension and development activities to promote growth in the fisheries sector; 3) initiate discussion and dialogue among different stakeholders for identification and prioritization of researchable issues in the sector and assist the policy makers and planners in the implementation of the programmes; and 4) assist public and private sector organisation, donors and development partners in the exploration of areas for investment for rapid and sustainable development. BFRF is based in Dhaka.

Key personnel

Dr Mostafa A.R. Hossain

Dr Mostafa A R Hossain GS, BFRF is a Professor in the Department of Fish. Biology and Genetics, Bangladesh Agricultural University. He holds an MSc in pond bottom sediment and Ph.D. in fish feeding physiology from the institute of Aquaculture, University of Stirling, UK and studied a post doc in fish stock enhancement at Kyoto University, Japan. Prof. Hossain’s main areas of expertise include biodiversity and conservation of aquatic animals, small indigenous fish, organic aquaculture and sustainable livelihood strategies for rural fishers and fish farmers, food and nutritional security. He has authored and co-authored over 50 scientific publications in peer reviewed journals along with technical papers, book chapters and popular articles. He has more than 20 years of professional experience in fisheries teaching, research and extension in Bangladesh.

Freshwater Fisheries Research Center, Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences

The Freshwater Fisheries Research Center (FFRC), Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS) was established in 1978. Located in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China, it is a comprehensive institution for fisheries research and development encompassing science and research, teaching and training, technology transfer and information exchanges in the renovation systems of national agricultural sciences. It was recognized as a non-profitable research institution by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance and State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform.

The FFRC consists of over 180 staff members, out of 125 are research fellows, 20 are professors, 36 are associate professors; 6 Ph. D advisors and 21 M.Sc. advisors. There are about 10 Ph.D. candidates, 30 M.Sc. candidates and 60 bachelor students studying at the institute each year. The FFRC is composed of one key laboratory on Genetic Breeding and Aquaculture Biology for Freshwater Fishes, and other 7 research departments including Fishery Economics and Information. The institute promotes new technology and healthy aquaculture in rural areas of China, and helps people get out of poverty through aquaculture. Since 1981, it has continued to conduct international training courses on integrated fish farming and fishery management; it has trained nearly 1500 participants from more than 100 countries around the world.The Freshwater Fisheries Research Center (FFRC), Chinese Academy of Fishery Sciences (CAFS) was established in 1978. Located in Wuxi, Jiangsu, China, it is a comprehensive institution for fisheries research and development encompassing science and research, teaching and training, technology transfer and information exchanges in the renovation systems of national agricultural sciences. It was recognized as a non-profitable research institution by the Ministry of Science and Technology, Ministry of Finance and State Commission Office for Public Sector Reform.

The FFRC consists of over 180 staff members, out of 125 are research fellows, 20 are professors, 36 are associate professors; 6 Ph. D advisors and 21 M.Sc. advisors. There are about 10 Ph.D. candidates, 30 M.Sc. candidates and 60 bachelor students studying at the institute each year. The FFRC is composed of one key laboratory on Genetic Breeding and Aquaculture Biology for Freshwater Fishes, and other 7 research departments including Fishery Economics and Information. The institute promotes new technology and healthy aquaculture in rural areas of China, and helps people get out of poverty through aquaculture. Since 1981, it has continued to conduct international training courses on integrated fish farming and fishery management; it has trained nearly 1500 participants from more than 100 countries around the world.

Key personnel

Professor Yuan Xinhua

Professor Yuan Xinhua, Coordinator of International Cooperation Programmes of FFRC. Graduated with a M.Sc. (1996) in aquaculture from the Central China Agricultural University and Ph.D. (2008) in agriculture economics and management from the Nanjing Agricultural University, China. He has been involved in training, education and research for 16 years. His research has focused mainly on the food security and economics analysis of Chinese carps and Tilapia, especially the production chain of aquatic products in China. He has been leading a number of national and international research projects; during the past 5 years, he served as consultant of FAO and Technical Advisory Committee (TAC) member of NACA, coordinated projects, e.g., prudent use of chemicals and drugs in aquaculture, sustainable indicators of small-scale fish farmers in China. He has considerable experience in leading international research projects.

The Government of India is cooperating with the AFSPAN project with participation from three agencies:

  • The Coastal Aquaculture Authority (CAA), established under the Coastal Aquaculture Authority Act, 2005, has the main objective of regulating coastal aquaculture activities to ensure sustainable development of coastal areas. One of the major tasks accomplished by the CAA was the registration of shrimp farms. CAA discussed vital issues such as farm/hatchery registration, antibiotic residues in shrimp, standards for probiotics and feed, High Tide Line (HTL) and Inter Tidal areas, Environment Impact Assessment and stocking density.
  • The Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries (DAHDF) is under the Ministry of Agriculture, Government of India. The Fisheries Division of DAHDF looks after the development of fisheries and aquaculture by developing suitable policies and programmes being a nodal agency. The DAHDF is responsible for matters relating to fishery production, management preservation, protection from disease and improvement of stocks and overall fisheries development. It also looks after all matters pertaining to fishing and fisheries, inland and marine and also for matters relating to the subordinate institutions like National Fisheries Development Board, Coastal Aquaculture Authority, etc.
  • The National Fisheries Development Board is a nodal agency of the Government of India under the administrative control of the Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying & Fisheries, Ministry of Agriculture, is aimed at ensuring all-round development of fisheries in the country.

Key personnel

Dr Vishnu Bhat

Dr Vishnu Bhat
Fisheries Development Commissioner
Department of Animal Husbandry, Dairying and Fisheries
Ministry of Aquaculture
Government of India

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