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: Reducing and Mitigating Risks to Fish Production Systems
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.
Yet the reliable supply of healthy fish and the livelihoods of those employed in aquaculture and fisheries are vulnerable to many risks. For example, seafood continues to be a leading source of foodborne illness worldwide, and disease outbreaks have had tremendous economic impacts on aquaculture systems.
The Fish Innovation Lab supports research to identify and develop scalable technologies and practices that reduce and mitigate risks to fish production systems, particularly through improved fish and environmental health. Our research seeks to identify best practices for effective food safety and food and nutrition security, ultimately preventing industry losses due to fish contamination and diseases. To ensure best practices for food safety and biosecurity are adopted, they are adapted for small-, medium-, and large-scale aquaculture producers. Research topics in this area seek to
- Improve fish health, including through surveillance for important pathogens and lessening producer dependence on antimicrobials and chemical treatments
- Prevent disease losses, for example by developing and implementing effective response plans to biosecurity or outbreak events
- Enhance food safety and processing, including through improvements to packaging, post-harvest handling practices, and methods for preservation