About Us

Funded by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the Feed the Future Innovation Lab for Fish (Fish Innovation Lab) works to reduce poverty and improve nutrition, food security, and livelihoods in partner countries by supporting research on sustainable aquatic food systems.

To achieve these goals, the Fish Innovation Lab supports research and capacity-building activities targeting three program areas:

  1. Climate-smart aquatic system innovations
  2. Nutrition and food systems
  3. Inclusive access to improved inputs

To enhance the development impact of Fish Innovation Lab research in our three program areas, we also expect incorporation of essential cross-cutting themes into each funded activity. 

The Fish Innovation Lab received its first 5-year grant in September 2018 to support USAID’s agricultural research and capacity-building work under Feed the Future, the U.S. Government’s global hunger and food security initiative. USAID awarded a 5-year extension to the Fish Innovation Lab in 2023. Mississippi State University (MSU) is the program’s management entity. Blue Aquaculture Consulting, Pwani University, Texas State University, the University of Rhode Island, Washington University in St. Louis, and WorldFish serve as management partners. Activities target Feed the Future countries, with a primary focus on Bangladesh, Kenya, Nigeria, and Zambia. Other high priority countries include Ghana, Madagascar, Nepal, Senegal, Tanzania, and Uganda.

How We Work

Rich in both macro- and micronutrients, fish and other aquatic foods are among the most traded agricultural commodities in the world. In low- and middle-income countries, more than 2.6 billion people depend on some form of fish for more than 20% of their total animal protein.

How fish and other aquatic foods are produced, caught, processed, distributed, and sold therefore affects the nutrition and livelihoods of small-scale producers and marginalized groups, making inclusive access to aquatic foods a vital part of the U.S. commitment to end global hunger and poverty.

Overall Approach

The Fish Innovation Lab supports and links research partners around the globe to identify, develop, and scale up promising methodologies and technologies for local fish farming, and to intensify and diversify major aquatic food production systems where the poor and undernourished are concentrated.

Through competitive research subawards, the Fish Innovation Lab funds country-focused research and capacity-building activities. You can learn more about our funding cycle and current opportunities. These subawards constitute an integrated, cooperative, multi-institutional research program that aims to produce applicable research results, increase the capacity of local partners, and support the adoption of new innovations.