Project concept note
Developing growth opportunities at the interface of fish-plant research
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.