Asia is home to over 50 percent of the world's poorest people (Roser 2016) and, in South Asia, the highest numbers of undernourished people (FAO 2016). Over two-thirds of the global supply of fish comes from this region, where a large proportion is consumed domestically (ibid.). Fish provides about 19 percent of the animal-source protein in the region (Beveridge et al. 2013) and is the main or supplementary source of employment, livelihoods and income for more than 47 million people (including China) (FAO 2016).
In Cambodia, fisheries and aquaculture are the main source of nutrition and income, providing around 75 percent of total animal-source protein (FAO 2013) and accounting for 12 percent of the country’s GDP (Mekong River Commission 2016). In Myanmar, households spend nearly as much on fish (14 percent of food expenditure) as on rice (19 percent of food expenditure), the country’s staple food (Belton et al. 2015).
FISH has research programs in Bangladesh, Cambodia, India, Indonesia, Malaysia, Myanmar, Philippines and Vietnam. FISH focuses its research on developing sustainable aquaculture, integrating aquaculture with agriculture, increasing small-scale aquaculture productivity, rehabilitating and sustaining coastal fisheries, increasing the production and consumption of small-fish for nutrition and health, and promoting inland fisheries co-management approaches.