The Fish Innovation Lab aims to reduce poverty and improve nutrition, food security, and livelihoods in developing countries by supporting the sustainable development of aquaculture and fisheries systems.
To achieve these goals, our activities target three program areas: Improving aquaculture and fisheries productivity, reducing and mitigating risks to aquaculture and fisheries, and improving human outcomes. You can learn more about the Fish Innovation Lab’s overall approach and cross-cutting themes.
The Challenge: Improving knowledge for better human outcomes
In developing countries, more than 2.6 billion people depend on some form of fish for more than 20% of their total animal protein — and as the global population increases, so too will demand for fish. Fisheries are also an essential source of income for the almost 200,000 people employed directly or indirectly by the industry in developing countries.
Well-managed aquaculture and fisheries systems have the potential to improve nutrition and income, but more evidence is needed on how these systems can positively impact the lives and livelihoods of vulnerable groups. For example, poor market systems for aquaculture and fisheries create inefficiencies that result in lost benefits at all stages of the value chain. Hence, we need action research that helps strengthen fish market systems and access, especially for those most vulnerable.
The Fish Innovation Lab supports research that generates actionable evidence on how fish production systems can equitably improve economic opportunity and nutrition among vulnerable households in developing countries. Our activities help improve dietary nutrition and livelihoods by fostering more equitable access to high-quality fish, business ownership, and market access. Research in this area prioritizes impacts for youth and women and seeks to
- Understand the socio-economic factors that limit or promote behavior changes needed to implement best practices for improved aquaculture and fisheries management
- Improve market access, especially for small-scale producers and fishers, by identifying key constraints to market access and better understanding capital flows through fish value chains
- Enhance nutrition using an integrated systems approach, focusing on three nutrition-vulnerable populations: pregnant and lactating women, infants and young children, and school-aged children