This annual report highlights some of our key achievements over the past year as we progress towards our impact targets. In Asia and Africa, our genetic improvement program took a major step forward with the use of genomic selection tools to introduce characteristics such as disease resistance and feed efficiency into our improved tilapia strains. These are vital for ensuring the productivity and sustainability of fish farms, particularly in Africa, where aquaculture investment is critical to meet current and future food demands.




The year 2017 saw some major events at WorldFish, with the transition of key positions, the official launch of the CGIAR Research Program on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH) and the implementation of the WorldFish strategy, which is already delivering significant research and development impact.

In July, Dr. Yvonne Pinto took over from Dr. Elizabeth Woods as Chair of the Board of Trustees. The same month, Dr. Gareth Johnstone was announced as Director General, designated to take over on 1 January 2018 from Dr. Blake Ratner. We thank Dr. Ratner for his outstanding contributions to the strategic development of WorldFish as he takes on a new challenge as Director of the Collaborating for Resilience initiative.

The WorldFish Strategy 2017–2022 reaffirmed our mission to strengthen livelihoods and enhance food and nutrition security by improving fisheries and aquaculture. It also laid out our ambitious impact targets, which are closely aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals. Activities developed around the three interlinked challenges of sustainable aquaculture, resilient small-scale fisheries, and value chains and nutrition will complement the ambitious agenda of FISH, which WorldFish is leading in cooperation with a number of partners. FISH is an important mechanism to deliver and drive the strategy and is enhanced by the activities developed by the three research challenges. The ultimate goal of FISH is to foster impact-driven research innovations that achieve sustainable increases in gender and socially inclusive production and equitable distribution of nutritious fish to those who need it most.

Dr. Yvonne Pinto
Chair, Board of Trustees (incoming)

Dr. Elizabeth Woods
Chair, Board of Trustees (outgoing)

This annual report highlights some of our key achievements over the past year as we progress towards our impact targets. In Asia and Africa, our genetic improvement program took a major step forward with the use of genomic selection tools to introduce characteristics such as disease resistance and feed efficiency into our improved tilapia strains. These are vital for ensuring the productivity and sustainability of fish farms, particularly in Africa, where aquaculture investment is critical to meet current and future food demands.

In Bangladesh, production of hilsa, the national fish, has increased dramatically, in large part due to our work with the Department of Fisheries and local communities to conserve and restore depleted stocks. As production heads towards half a million metric tons per year, the government is looking to lift the ban on hilsa exports, which has been in place since 2012.

In Cambodia, the number of community fish refuges, which provide a dry season sanctuary for brood fish, was increased from 40 to 134, directly benefiting well over half a million people through better access to fish in the wet season.

FISH work in Myanmar, complementing bilaterally funded WorldFish research, has boosted household consumption of small fish by 13 percent on average, with a particular effect on the nutrition and development of under-fives. As FISH activities continue to develop, the inputs from the program will enhance impacts that contribute to achieving the WorldFish strategy, creating long-lasting change for the millions of people who depend on fish in the developing world.

Dr. Gareth Johnstone
Director General Designate (incoming)

Dr. Blake Ratner
Director General (outgoing)

Board of Trustees

Dr. Yvonne Pinto, Board Chair, Agricultural Learning and Impact Network (ALINe), United Kingdom

Mr. Hee Kong Yong, Chair of the Audit Committee, Malaysia

Mr. Anthony Long, Chair of the Governance Committee, Belgium

Dr. Abdou Tenkouano, CORAF, Senegal

Prof. Dr. Ayman Anwar Ammar, Central Laboratory for Aquaculture Research (CLAR), Egypt

Prof. Baba Yusuf Abubakar, Nigeria

YBhg. Dato’ Haji Munir Haji Mohd Nawi, Department of Fisheries, Malaysia

Prof. Tony Haymet, Scripps, Australia

Dr. Gareth Johnstone, WorldFish

Dr. Elizabeth Woods, Queensland Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, Australia (term ended 31 December 2017)

Dr. Blake Ratner, WorldFish (term ended 31 December 2017)

Prof. Dr. Rose Emma Mamaa Entsua-Mensah, Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR), Ghana (term ended 31 December 2017)

YBhg. Datuk Hj. Ismail Bin Abu Hassan, Department of Fisheries, Malaysia (term ended 25 October 2017)

Prof. Mohamed Fathy Osman, Ain Shams University, Egypt (term ended 7 October 2017)

Ms. Belinda Yang, Istuary Innovation Labs Inc., Canada (term ended 30 June 2017)