More than 100 delegates from governments, NGOs, international organizations, research organizations and the private sector attended the event chaired by Dr. Motseki Hlatshwayo, Technical Advisor-Fisheries, SADC Secretariat.
Dr. Siphokazi Ndudane, Deputy Director General, Department: Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries (DAFF), South Africa speaking at the launch: “The fact that FISH is being launched here in Cape Town underlines the importance of the program to Africa and it underlines the importance of fisheries and aquaculture for Africa. Agricultural growth cannot be achieved without a strong research investment, and evidence base. And with FISH we have a new research program that will focus on what remains a huge opportunity for the whole of Africa.”
FISH aims to assist 3.5 million people to exit poverty and reducing the number of people suffering from deficiencies in essential micronutrients by 2.4 million.
Also speaking at the launch, Chair of the WorldFish Board of Trustees Dr. Yvonne Pinto: “Without securing fish production and availability – to address rising global demand, overfishing, the effects of climate change, population growth and habitat destruction - it is difficult to see how we can deliver on all of our collective commitments to the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).”
She also noted: “Depleted capture fisheries cannot cope with the demand for more fish and so sustainable aquaculture must. This is a challenge for the entire industry and so this World Aquaculture event is the most appropriate place to launch the FISH program and progress our collective efforts to address this important challenge.”
Dr Hamady Diop, Head of the Natural Resources Governance – Food Security and Nutrition Programme at the NEPAD Agency speaking at the event: “President Alpha Condé has agreed to represent the NEPAD Agency as the Champion for Fisheries and Aquaculture in Africa. This is an important high-level acknowledgement of fish as a good alternative to other animal proteins. The sustainable development of aquaculture development presents an opportunity to contribute to food security, job creation and the fight against poverty.”
FISH will focus on the three interlinked challenges of sustainable aquaculture, small-scale fisheries, and enhancing the contribution of fish to nutrition and health of the poor in priority geographies of Africa and Asia-Pacific. More details can be found on the website. A video record of the FISH launch ceremony is available on demand.
For more information or to request an interview contact:
Toby Johnson, Head of Communications
Mobile Tel: +60 (0) 175 124 606
WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization that harnesses the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce hunger and poverty. Globally, more than one billion poor people obtain most of their animal protein from fish and 800 million depend on fisheries and aquaculture for their livelihoods. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, a global research partnership for a food-secure future.
Pursuing a research agenda through a network of multistakeholder partners, The CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH) enhances the contributions of fisheries and aquaculture to reducing poverty and improving food security and nutrition. FISH brings together a unique set of multi-stakeholder partnerships to harness emerging science in aquaculture and fisheries to deliver development outcomes at scale. FISH is led by WorldFish, together with the Australian Research Council Centre of Excellence in Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University, Australia; the International Water Management Institute ; Natural Resources Institute at the University of Greenwich (NRI), England and Wageningen University, Netherlands . In regional contexts, the program partners closely with governments, NGOs, the private sector and research organizations to influence national, regional and global policy and development practice.
CGIAR is a global research partnership for a food-secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research Centers that are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partners.