Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation partners on sustainable aquaculture projects in Africa and Asia

Responsible Seafood Advocate

The partnership focuses on small-scale aquaculture and optimizing scalability

Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation
FUTUREFISH has secured a contract with the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, working towards their vision to empower, build, and grow sustainable aquaculture in Africa and Asia for people and our planet. Photo courtesy of FUTUREFISH.

FUTUREFISH, a UK-based organization dedicated to sustainable aquaculture innovation and investment, has secured a contract with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation to support the development of the foundation’s Fish and Aquaculture Program in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia.

“We founded FUTUREFISH to help connect innovation and investment with the diverse actors in aquaculture value chains, especially in overlooked geographies,” said co-founder Dr. Rohana Subasinghe. “We look forward to co-developing impactful interventions and investments to increase productivity, profitability and inclusivity of aquaculture with the support of the foundation.”

For decades, aquaculture has been the world’s fastest-growing food production sector, and it’s anticipated to continue to grow in the future. Freshwater fish, such as carps, tilapias and catfishes, hold the lion’s share in global fish production, predominantly originating from smallholders. Freshwater fish contribute more than any other aquaculture sub-sector to the total volume, rural livelihoods and food and nutrition security, making small-scale aquaculture the most socially important sector in aquaculture production.

However, most produce from small-scale aquaculture does not enter international markets. According to FUTUREFISH, the increased attention on sector improvement has taken the focus away from where it is needed – for smallholder empowerment and practicing sustainability and scalability to be optimized.

“At a time when hunger and poverty are on the rise, it is so timely to see the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation focus on aquaculture in sub-Saharan Africa and South Asia,” said co-founder Dr. Michael Phillips. “It is a great privilege for FUTUREFISH to be given the opportunity to explore impactful aquaculture investments that will benefit food and nutrition security, smallholder productivity and livelihoods, women’s empowerment and climate resilience.”

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