Aquaculture & Fisheries

Fishing for food and financial security

World demand for fish as food has tripled since 1990, leading to overfishing in oceans, lakes, and rivers, threatening the availability of this important source of protein. Yet populations in developing countries, especially those in poor coastal communities, are the ones who face great challenges in achieving more sustainable fishing practices.

Aquaculture, the controlled cultivation of fresh and saltwater fish and other aquatic organisms, creates sustainable fisheries, increases opportunities to earn an income, and improves food security.  According to the FAO, 90% of freshwater aquaculture production is located in developing countries, much of it managed on small-scale farms.

Feed the Future Innovation Labs for Collaborative Research and earlier CRSPs working in aquaculture and fisheries management have targeted these small-scale fish farmers.  They have worked in Asian, Latin American, and African sites to develop scalable management practices that simultaneously increase production and market competitiveness while protecting natural resources.  In Mali, for example, a South-South exchange program brought fisheries experts from China to work with Mali’s Direction Nationale de la Pêche to demonstrate new techniques for raising fish in irrigated rice fields. Malian fisheries officials also visited aquaculture sites in China. One of the first of four adopters with a 0.084 ha rice field harvested 115 kg of fish in his first year for an additional US $121 of income, which, by Malian standards is still a significant increase. The following year, an additional 22 farmers built ponds on their own fields.

The AquaFish CRSP (Phase I, 2006-2013) built on the knowledge and results generated by its predecessor, the Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP (1982-2008).  Their research has addressed overfishing, human health, and food insecurity.  The Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Collaborative Research on Aquaculture & Fisheries (Feed the Future AquaFish Innovation Lab) (Phase II, 2013 – present) continues this legacy of improving men and women’s capacity to implement more sustainable fisheries management through research and training.


For more information:

AquaFish Innovation Lab (2006-present)

Oregon State University
418 Snell Hall
Corvallis, Oregon 97331
TEL: +1-541-737-6426

Dr. Hillary Egna, Program Director

Pond Dynamics/Aquaculture CRSP (1982-2008)
Fisheries Stock Assessment CRSP (1985-1994)