University of Nottingham Malaysia
Crops for the Future Research Centre


Project concept note

Developing growth opportunities at the interface of fish-plant research

Problem statements

  • Whilst aquaculture is the fastest growing source of food in the world, productivity from capture fisheries has stagnated due to high costs and poor nutritional content of many existing fish feeds.
  • Demand for nutritionally sound, affordable and locally sourced plant‐based fish feeds is rising as producers seek both to reduce the input costs and better manage disease in fish stocks.  
  • Identifying and developing alternative plant‐based products that better feed and protect fish stocks against disease represents a significant opportunity for the ASEAN region which is a rich source of plant species, many of which have the potential to be used in fish feeds.
  • Developing high value fish feeds provides a huge opportunity for the rural sector across ASEAN, both in the delivery of sustainable nutrition and high value agricultural products that contribute to the  economic viability of local aquaculture systems. 


To establish FishPlus as a collaborative research and development and capacity building  programme to screen, test, develop and deliver innovative products to support growth of the aquaculture sector and increase the nutritional value of aquaculture products from the ASEAN region. 


Key bottlenecks in the productivity, nutritional value, health and welfare of small scale aquaculture systems will be identified and resolved, creating employment and economic opportunities and improving the nutritional value of fish and the nutritional health of consumers. Key outputs will include:

  • Improved growth rates and quality characteristics of aquaculture products.
  • Feed and prebiotic products from underutilised plant resources that reduce costs for the aquaculture industry and generate wealth for farmers and other value chain participants.
  • Improved health of cultured fish, reducing risks and increased productivity for fish farmers.
  • Improved nutritional value of cultured fish, leading to improved diets for consumers.

Programme concept 

  • A research and training network that links cutting edge research activities in product formulation and design with producers and other stakeholders.
  • A Market Innovation System that links plant (CropBase) and fish (FishBase) knowledge to coordinate activities that deliver economically viable and nutritionally valuable products to the ASEAN aquaculture sector and the communities who depend on it.
  • Collaborative links to international research institutions, especially  through CFFRC and Worldfish, that further build capacity and transfer knowledge.

Potential partners

FishPlus will bring together world leading expertise in plant and fish genetics, production, processing and end‐uses in a partnership between CFFRC, WorldFish Center and major public and private players especially in the ASEAN region.

Programme activities

FishPlus will combine crop screening, laboratory trials and scaling out activities which will be led by the different partners. By integrating FishPlus into the proposed ASEAN Consortium for Research  Excellence in  Agricultural Diversification (CREAD), further partners will be mobilised to assist with regional screening, novel technologies and outscaling.

Application information

Completed applications should be submitted by Friday 1 June 2012 to:


For more information about this project please direct enquiries to:




Crops for the Future Research Centre

University of Nottingham Malaysia
Jalan Broga, 43500 Semenyih
Selangor Darul Ehsan

telephone: +6 (03) 8924 8799
fax: +6 (03) 8924 8798