In June 2016, the Malaysian Department of Fisheries (DoF) and WorldFish signed an agreement establishing the Technical Committee on Research Collaboration to promote the sustainable development of aquaculture and fisheries in Malaysia.

The agreement formalized the existing collaboration, which began when WorldFish established its headquarters in Penang in 2000.

WorldFish collaborates with DoF at the Jitra Aquaculture Extension Center, in the state of Kedah, to run research activities and to serve as a nucleus breeding center for genetically improved farmed tilapia (GIFT), the fast-growing strain of tilapia developed by WorldFish. In addition to producing genetically improved families, WorldFish plans to expand research to introduce disease resistance and feed efficiency traits.

There are currently five projects under this collaboration:

  • GIFT tilapia production and dissemination in Malaysia
  • Socio-economic evaluation of GIFT tilapia related to value chain analysis
  • Genetic improvement of red tilapia (molecular approach)
  • Improvement of the Trawlbase database
  • Genetic enhancement of giant freshwater prawn (Macrobrachium rosenbergii)