Two improved breeds of Nile Tilapia that grow up to 30% faster are helping farmers in West Africa and Egypt to increase the productivity of their fish farms. Almost 4 million people across Africa depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods, and faster-growing fish bring vast economic, productivity, nutrition and food security benefits.
Biodiversity loss and food insecurity are two of the greatest challenges of the 21st century. The Asia-Pacific's Coral Triangle is defined by its extremely high marine biodiversity, with over one hundred million people living in its coastal zones who use this biodiversity to support their livelihoods.
Addressing the problems of poverty and malnutrition in low-income communities is usually the preserve of government agencies and development organizations. However, with demand for fish products soaring worldwide, the small-scale fisheries sector in developing nations represents a potentially lucrative – as well as ethical – opportunity for private sector investors. WorldFish has formed partnerships with a number of private sector partners to create a win–win scenario for business and local communities alike.
The Bangladeshi floodplains, which stretch out from the Padma, Jamuna and Meghna Rivers, are the lifeblood of communities throughout the densely-populated nation. Bangladesh has a turbulent tropical climate that brings annual monsoons as well as tropical cyclones that occasionally devastate the region. The increased variability and unpredictability of weather patterns threatens to make life on the Bangladeshi waterways more precarious than ever before. The FAO-NAPA Climate Change Adaptation Concept Note Development project is a step towards increasing resilience and reducing the vulnerability of Bangladeshi fisheries and the aquaculture sector to climate change.
Mangrove ecosystems are critical to the economic needs and livelihoods of many coastal communities in Pacific region. Mangroves provide an important source of food including fish, shells and fruit as well a source of timber for firewood and building materials. In addition, mangrove ecosystems play an important role in protecting coastal villages from wind and waves. Under the threat of climate change, maintaining healthy mangrove ecosystems will help coastal communities build resilience to the impacts of climate change. Throughout the Pacific however there are increasing threats to mangroves including clearing for urban expansion and felling trees for firewood.
Aquaculture is one of the fastest growing food production sectors in the world, with Asia supplying 90% of aquaculture production in 2010. The potential of aquaculture to strengthen global food security is a topic of increasing importance as the world moves towards a population of 9 billion people.
As urban populations continue to expand rapidly in Africa, the continent’s demand for fish grows accordingly. Unfortunately, existing stocks of fish cannot keep pace with this growth. Fish accounts for over 30% of total animal protein consumption in the diets of Africa’s poor. In some countries, it is even higher. In Ghana, that value is about 60%. Although Ghana and many other African countries import fish at a loss in an attempt to meet some of the demand for low-cost protein, they still face shortfalls. This dire situation provides African fish farmers with an opportunity to increase fish production, thereby improving food security and reducing poverty.