FISH events: Visioning for a Learning Hub of Excellence

WorldFish researchers from Solomon Islands, Timor Leste and partner organization, James Cook University are meeting next week at the Nusa Tupe Research Station in Western Province of Solomon Islands.

For 20 years, WorldFish research in the Solomon Islands has sought to improve the performance of fisheries and aquaculture for food security and human wellbeing. Insights from this work are shared across the Pacific region.

Smallholder-based oil palm and rubber production in the forest region of Guinea: An exploratory analysis of household food security outcomes

The Guinean government has promoted the large-scale production of industrial crops such as oil palm and rubber through the Guinean Oil Palm and Rubber Company (SOGUIPAH). Smallholder-based production of these crops has also been promoted to boost rural development but the food security outcomes are unclear. This exploratory study assesses the food security outcomes of smallholder-based oil palm and rubber production at the household level using six standardized metrics of food security.

Strengthening and scaling community-based approaches to Pacific coastal fisheries management in support of the New Song

In the small island developing states of the Pacific, catching, trading and eating fish are central to the way of life and local and national economies. Local and external pressures on marine resources, and high reliance on fisheries as a livelihood, mean that improving and sustaining fisheries benefits is a key pathway to improve human wellbeing and contribute to food and nutrition security. This project aims to improve the wellbeing of Pacific coastal communities through more resilient fisheries as a foundation. The project contributes to the Pacific Community's New Song strategy, which calls for a stronger, co-ordinated approach to developing and managing coastal fisheries. The project aims to: (1) strengthen Pacific institutions to implement the New Song for coastal fisheries; (2) improve and scale out CBFM in Kiribati, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu; (3) improve the opportunities, viability and performance of livelihoods in support of CBFM initiatives; (4) increase social and gender equity in coastal fisheries governance, utilization and benefit distribution; and (5) promote food and nutrition security in the Pacific food system through improved management and use of fish. The project builds on community-based management and multi-level governance efforts in preceding projects led by WorldFish with national and regional partners.

Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART)

In the Indian state of Assam, capture fisheries and aquaculture provide livelihoods for thousands of rural households, who are directly or indirectly involved in the production and marketing of fish. 

While the current average productivity in ponds is around 1,680 kg/ha/yr, beel fisheries produce less than 500 kg/ha/yr. This is far below the potential productivity as well as below the productivity achieved by other states, including Punjab, Haryana, West Bengal and Andhra Pradesh. In addition, the quality of fish seed produced in the state is sub-standard because of inbreeding and use of undersized broodstock. The chronic shortage of fish feed also impedes farm productivity. 

The Government of Assam (GoA), through the Government of India, has received a loan of USD 200 million from the World Bank for implementation of the Assam Agribusiness and Rural Transformation Project (APART). The project development objective (PDO) is to add value and improve resilience of selected agriculture value chains, focusing on smallholder farmers and agro-entrepreneurs in targeted districts of Assam. Fish has been prioritized as one of the value chains for interventions under APART.

Objectives

WorldFish will provide technical support to the Directorate of Fisheries in the implementation of the project's fisheries sub-component. In line with the PDO, the technical support aims to accomplish the following five broad objectives:

  • Enable sustainable increases in aquaculture production without creating adverse socioeconomic or environmental impacts (sustainable intensification of aquaculture);
  • Secure and enhance the contribution of small-scale fisheries to food security in Assam (increasing the diversity and productivity of beels);
  • Increase the availability, access and consumption of nutrient-rich, safe fish, especially for women of reproductive age, infants and young children (improving fish value chains and human nutrition);
  • Develop and promote climate-resilient technologies in support of sustainable aquaculture and small-scale fisheries (climate -resilient/climate-smart aquaculture technologies);
  • Promote gender-transformative approaches in support of sustainable aquaculture and beel fisheries in Assam (gender-transformative approaches in aquaculture).

Fish supply and demand for food security in Sub-Saharan Africa: An analysis of the Zambian fish sector

The demand for fish in Sub-Saharan Africa, as driven by the trend of diet-shift to fish, economic and demographic growth, outstrips supply. The resulting fish deficit is drawing attention of policy makers as it poses threats to economic stability as well as food security in the region. In this paper, a multi-species, multi-sector equilibrium model is developed and applied to Zambia as a case study to provide a tool for policy makers to examine the interaction between fish supply and demand.

Investment in aquaculture essential to meet Africa’s food demand

Investment in Africa’s aquaculture sector could see production increase six-fold from 2.9 million metric tons to 19 million metric tons a year. Conversely, without science-based solutions, aquaculture production will stagnate and annual per capita fish consumption, which is already the lowest in the world, could drop from 10 kg to 7 kg.

This is according to figures presented by WorldFish Director Gareth Johnstone at this year’s edition of AquaVision.

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