Press release

Successful program of genetic improvement of finfish extended to freshwater prawns

WorldFish has expanded its successful program of breeding genetically improved strains of farmed tilapia and carp to include freshwater prawn. The aim is to develop high-yielding strains with good adaptation to environmental challenges and a high survival rate.

The giant freshwater prawn, Macrobrachium Rosenbergii is one of the most important crustaceans in inland aquaculture. This is the first attempt to genetically improve this prawn species, which is economically important for the poor because it fits well in smallholder’s typical system of prawn polyculture with carp or tilapia in Bangladesh, China, India, Philippines, Thailand and Vietnam.

It does not require expensive high-protein feed, thriving instead on locally procured plants, yet it fetches a much higher price than freshwater fish. Demand is high in domestic and export markets alike.

Selective breeding has begun in India, Malaysia and Vietnam in collaboration with national partners possessing the required facilities and skilled personnel. Implementation entails collecting and evaluating strains, establishing the foundation population, designing and implementing the selection program, developing strategies for effectively disseminating the improved strain and building the capacity of local scientists.

In all three countries, physical facilities have been consolidated, the technique of family identification using visible implant elastomer mastered, and family production begun following the single-pair mating design. The involvement of the three countries ensures that the project captures their wealth of experience. The project will significantly contribute to understanding of the species’ genetics and provide a model for genetically improving other crustaceans.

About WorldFish

WorldFish, a member of the CGIAR Consortium, is an international, nonprofit research organization committed to reducing poverty and hunger through fisheries and aquaculture.


CGIAR is a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future. Its science is carried out by the 15 research centers who are members of the CGIAR Consortium in collaboration with hundreds of partner organizations.

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contact: Toby Johnson, Senior Media Relations Manager

Mobile tel: +60 175 124 606




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