Aquaculture currently supplies around half of the fish consumed globally and is projected to grow from 66.6 million metric tons in 2012 to 93.2 tons by 2030. But significant improvements in aquaculture technologies, farming systems and value chains are needed to achieve this increase in production—and in ways that are socially and environmentally responsible.

The sustainable aquaculture flagship program focuses on the key research question of: How can productivity-improving technologies and management practices enable aquaculture to achieve its fullest contribution to equitable livelihoods and food and nutrition security while delivering environmental benefits?

To answer this, FISH conducts research in three clusters:

  1. Fish breeds and genetics
  2. Feeds, fish nutrition and health
  3. Aquaculture systems

Research is focused in countries with low and medium Human Development Indicators and high dependence on fish for food, where aquaculture is in early stages of development but needs accelerated growth to fill projected shortfalls, or where aquaculture is already established but opportunities exist to sustainably intensify to the supply levels required to meet growing domestic or regional demand.

Research advances in these areas will contribute to sustainable growth, while ensuring that poor farmers, their families and communities access direct nutritional and economic benefits from a sustainably-growing aquaculture sector.

Impacts are delivered through widespread dissemination and use of improved tilapia and carp seed, application of best management practices, adoption of fish disease control measures, sustainable aquafeeds and adoption of production systems with reduced greenhouse gas emissions and improved water and nutrient use.

Theory of change