Dr. Ismahane Elouafi Dives into WorldFish and the Crucial Role of Aquatic Food Systems

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Dr. Ismahane Eloauafi and WorldFish researchers
  • Dr. Ismahane Elouafi's first visit to WorldFish saw her deep dive into the significance of aquatic food systems for sustainability, nutrition and shared prosperity.
  • High-level meetings with Malaysian leaders and international collaborations set the stage for future development and knowledge exchange in aquatic food systems.

WorldFish welcomed Dr. Ismahane Elouafi, the newly appointed Executive Managing Director of CGIAR, to its headquarters in Penang, Malaysia, recently.  

During her visit, hosted by WorldFish Director General, Dr. Essam Yassin Mohammed, Dr. Elouafi engaged in strategic discussions with WorldFish’s senior scientific and management team, focusing on the critical role of aquatic food systems as a solution to the challenges facing global food systems, including climate change, biodiversity loss, and food and nutrition insecurity. 

Dr. Ismahane Elouafi and Dr. Essam Yassin Mohammed at WorldFish

Key highlights of the visit included a tour of WorldFish’s state-of-the-art research facilities, where Dr. Elouafi observed groundbreaking work in genetics

Genetics at WorldFish

She also visited WorldFish partner Centre for Marine and Coastal Studies (CEMACS) where the CEMACS Director Prof. Dato' Dr. Aileen Tan Shau Hwai, showcased the center’s work on marine and coastal ecosystems.  


A significant component of Dr. Elouafi’s visit was her meeting with Malaysian Minister of Agriculture and Food Security, YB Datuk Seri Mohamad bin Sabu. These discussions aimed to strengthen collaboration and support for initiatives that that align with Malaysia’s goals for sustainable development and food security. The upcoming 21st International Institute of Fisheries Economics & Trade (IIFET) Conference to be held in collaboration with the Department of Fisheries, from 15-19 July 2024 in Penang, Malaysia, was also discussed.  

Meeting with Malaysian Government

The visit concluded with  a ‘Fish for Thought’ knowledge sharing session where researchers from across the organisation showcased some of the scientific innovations they have been working on, ranging  from digital tools for aquatic food systems, the development of low-cost and highly nutritious aquatic feed, sophisticated data collection systems for small-scale fisheries (PesKAS) and the recently launched Asia-Africa BlueTech Superhighway (AABS) which is set to bring contextualised lessons from Asia’s success in aquaculture to the emerging scene In Africa through South-South collaboration. 

Following the session, Dr. Elouafi underscored her commitment to a cooperative and integrated OneCGIAR approach, leveraging the collective expertise of CGIAR's Global Research Centers to effectively tackle pressing global issues. 

WorldFish extends our gratitude to Dr. Elouafi for her visit and support and look forward to continuing to make a lasting impact on the lives of millions through sustainable aquatic food systems. 

David, Wardell

Strategic Communications Specialist