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Motto "To reduce poverty and hunger by improving fisheries and aquaculture"
Formation 1975
Type Nonprofit research organization
Purpose Research
Headquarters Penang, Malaysia
Region served Worldwide
Membership FishBase Consortium
Parent organization Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Remarks Formerly the International Center for Living Aquatic Resources Management (ICLARM).


WorldFish is an international, nonprofit research organization with headquarters in Penang, Malaysia, and offices in Asia, Africa, and the Pacific. WorldFish’s mission is to harness the potential of fisheries and aquaculture to reduce poverty and hunger in developing countries.[1]

WorldFish is a member of the Consortium of International Agricultural Research Centers (CGIAR), a global agriculture research partnership for a food secure future.[2]

Working in partnership with private and public sectors and civil society, WorldFish uses its scientific expertise in fisheries and aquaculture to promote sustainable, evidence-based development solutions and policy recommendations[3] that support the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs).[4] All services and solutions developed by the Center are international public goods that are made freely available to all.[5]

WorldFish has introduced innovative technologies and practices that are brought to scale through a network of partners. The Center works on a breeding program to develop the Abbassa strain of Nile Tilapia that helped increase aquaculture productivity and improve food security for millions of Egyptians.[6]

In Bangladesh, WorldFish trained and supported thousands of rural farmers by helping them improve the productivity of their homestead ponds and gardens.

WorldFish has been recognized with a Tech Museum Award[7], several World Bank Global Development Marketplace awards[8], and the prestigious World Food Prize.[9]

WorldFish Research[edit]

WorldFish expertise in Policy Economics and Social Sciences, Natural Resource Management and Aquaculture and Genetic Improvement work together to provide a wide range of research and analysis to meet complex challenges like these.

  • Policy Economics and Social Science division focuses on social and economic analysis of the aquaculture and fisheries sectors; connecting the fisheries and aquaculture sector to poverty reduction initiatives at local to global scales; policy and institutional analysis for the improved governance of aquatic resources; assessing the potential impacts of climate change on fisheries and adaptive measures that can be taken; and human health consequences of fisheries, reducing risks, and fisheries options that benefit health-impaired populations (HIV/AIDS and malaria). WorldFish also works with communities to manage their fisheries.
  • The Natural Resources division produces integrated assessment and management technologies for small-scale fisheries, designs and manages global information systems on aquatic resources (FishBase, ReefBase), studies post-disaster livelihood recovery in fisheries-dependent regions, assesses impacts of built structures on aquatic resources in river basins and analyses external drivers such as climate change on livelihoods of fishery-dependent households.
  • The Aquaculture and Genetic Improvement division is dedicated to developing methods for breeding improved fish strains for aquaculture; aquaculture technologies for the poor, including women and the landless; integrating aquaculture with terrestrial small-scale agriculture; developing strategies and options for aquaculture production and national action plans; connecting small-scale producers to markets and developing technologies that improve water productivity while protecting environmental flows.

Impact and Innovation[edit]

WorldFish, with its partners, has raised incomes for millions of poor people (and reduced suffering of HIV/AIDS-affected families) by integrating aquaculture with agriculture and has empowered poor communities to participate in the sustainable co-management of their fisheries. It has helped countries cope with disaster and conflict by restoring fisheries, providing nations with tools to improve the planning and management of major river basins and developed widely-consulted global databases, and strengthening national capacities for fisheries management.

Three areas of work have generated particularly large impact:

  • The breeding of much higher-yielding tilapia fish varieties (GIFT), widely used in aquaculture across Asia, greatly raising productivity and incomes: $170 returned for each $100 invested per annum.[10][self-published source?]
  • Integrated aquaculture-agriculture in Malawi that has sharply increased incomes and reduced childhood malnutrition, and helping HIV/AIDS-affected families cope; $115 returned for each $100 invested per annum.[11][self-published source?]


  1. ^ WorldFish Center mission, The Tech Awards article.
  2. ^ WorldFish Center as part of CGIAR, Institute of Development Studies, WorldFish Center article.
  3. ^ [ WorldFish Center mission], GlobalGiving, WorldFish Center overview.
  4. ^ How WorldFish supports U.N. Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), online pamphlet.
  5. ^ CGIAR as a Provider of International Public Goods, pdf document
  6. ^ Abbassa strain of Nile Tilapia, SciDevNet article.
  7. ^ Tech Museum Award, Bio-Medicine, Biology Research Tools article.
  8. ^ World Bank Global Development Marketplace awards, article.
  9. ^ World Food Prize winner, Rediff India Abroad article.
  10. ^ Standing Panel on Impact Assessment, Science Council Secretariat, CGIAR (October 2006). "Improved Tilapia Benefits Asia". Science Council Brief (6). Rome: CGIAR. Retrieved 2012-10-24. [self-published source]
  11. ^ Standing Panel on Impact Assessment, Science Council Secretariat, CGIAR (October 2006). "Development and Dissemination of Integrated Aquaculture–Agriculture Technologies in Malawi". Science Council Brief (11). Rome: CGIAR. Retrieved 2012-10-24. [self-published source]
  12. ^ Standing Panel on Impact Assessment, Science Council Secretariat, CGIAR (November 2008). "Community-Based Fisheries Management in Bangladesh". Science Council Brief (30). Rome: CGIAR. Retrieved 2012-10-24. [self-published source]

External links[edit]