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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
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.[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 Development Marketplace Awards,[8] and the World Food Prize.[9]

WorldFish Research

WorldFish is committed to meeting two key development challenges: 1) Improving the livelihoods of those who are poor and vulnerable in places where fisheries and aquaculture can make a difference and 2) achieving large scale, environmentally sustainable, increases in supply and access to fish at affordable prices for poor consumers in developing countries.[10]

To meet these challenges WorldFish focuses its expertise and research in the following areas:

  • Building adaptive capacity to climate change in fisheries and aquaculture
  • Strengthening gender equality in fish-dependent communities
  • Increasing the benefits to poor people from fisheries and aquaculture value-chains
  • Improving nutrition and health through fisheries and aquaculture
  • Identifying and promoting policies and practices to increase the resilience of small-scale fisheries
  • Sustainably increasing the productivity of small-scale aquaculture

WorldFish is one of the 15 specialized research centers of the Consortium on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR),[11] and is also an implementing partner for the CGIAR Research Program on Aquatic Agricultural Systems (AAS).[12] This research program aims to reduce poverty and improve food security for people whose livelihoods depend on aquatic agricultural systems.[13]

Impact and Innovation

WorldFish, with its partners, has raised incomes for millions of poor people by integrating aquaculture with agriculture and has empowered poor communities to participate in the sustainable co-management of their fisheries. At its core, WorldFish is a scientific research organization. The center works with an extensive network of donors and partners to create positive change for the millions who depend on fish in the developing world. 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 strengthening national capacities for fisheries management.

Three areas of work have generated particularly large impact:

  • The breeding of much higher-yielding Tilapia fish varieties, widely used in aquaculture across Asia, greatly raised productivity and incomes of poor small-scale farmers: $170 returned for each $100 invested per annum. [14]
  • The strengthening Aquatic Resource Governance (STARGO) project helped lake communities in Zambia, Cambodia and Uganda build lake capacity to manage conflicts over fish resources and lay a foundation for sustainable management of natural resources. [15]
  • In Egypt, WorldFish used selective breeding approaches to develop the 'Abbassa Strain', which grows up to 28% faster than the most commonly used commercial breed. [16] The Improving Employment and Income through the Development of Egypt's Aquaculture Sector (IEIDEAS) project supplied 50 fish farms and 130 hatcheries with the fast-growing strain. [17] IEIDEAS is strengthening the Egyptian aquaculture industry by providing training and by generating employment for people who depend on the sector.


  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. Welcome to WorldFish, Article,
  11. SEAT Article,
  12. AAS Zambia,, Article
  13. AAS food security,, Article
  14. [1], Research For Development
  15. [2],
  16. [3], Sci Dev Net
  17. [4], Globe Fish Highlights

External links