Press Release: New research collaboration to support Pacific communities to prepare for the future

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WorldFish, ANCORS reaffirm collaboration on research, capacity-building in island nations

WorldFish and the Australian National Centre for Ocean Resources and Security (ANCORS), based at the University of Wollongong (UoW) agreed to reaffirm their research partnership by signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on Monday 24 February 2020.

The MoU was signed by UoW Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Jenny Martin AC and Director General of WorldFish Dr. Gareth Johnstone. Other ANCORS representatives Professor Kaye, Professor Andrews and WorldFish Country Director for Solomon Islands, Delvene Boso attended the signing ceremony.

The new MOU will focus on delivering a number of vital projects, including enhancing fish-based livelihoods in the Solomon Islands and Timor Leste; improving agriculture-based nutrition in the Pacific; and continuing to strengthen coastal fisheries management throughout the region.

Distinguished Professor Stuart Kaye, Director of ANCORS, said the centre was thrilled to be cementing its partnership with WorldFish and continuing to make a difference in the Pacific region.

“UOW and WorldFish have been working together for the past eight years and have been making tangible, real-world impacts in a region that is the canary in the coalmine for issues such as climate change and food security.

We are incredibly proud of the research and community engagement that is already underway and look forward to strengthening this partnership with WorldFish to help build a more secure and resilient Pacific region for the future.”

Aside from providing a new framework to an existing partnership, this MOU will enable greater research impact on island nation communities of the Pacific region.

Dr Gareth Johnstone, Director General of WorldFish added that “Our reaffirmed partnership with ANCORS symbolizes our shared ambition for delivering innovative, demand-driven research with real impact on the lives of people and communities of the Pacific so that they are better prepared for the future under a changing climate. Together, we will help generate critical data and scientific evidence to guide current and future policies, practices and investments an inclusive and sustainable blue economy to secure nutrition and public health, community resilience and adaptation to climate change, and shared prosperity through fish and aquatic foods.”

ANCORS and WorldFish have been working together for the past eight years to effect positive change in the Pacific region through three key multi-year research projects totaling a budget size of 13.5 million AUD. The focus of this ongoing research collaboration had been on food and nutrition security through fish, sustainable management fisheries, ocean governance and building capacities and resilience in coastal communities. The research and community engagement have focused on countries such as the Solomon Islands, Vanuatu and Kiribati. This includes a four year-long project funded by the Australian Centre for International Agricultural Research and the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade, Strengthening and scaling community-based approaches to Pacific coastal fisheries management in support of the New Song.

The project, led by Professor Neil Andrew from ANCORS, aims to influence the trajectory of coastal fisheries at national and regional levels while working with more than 100 communities to shift the way they view and use fish.

The MOU has also led to the creation of a joint WorldFish and ANCORS research fellow. Associate Professor Hampus Eriksson was appointed to the role in 2019.


Notes to editor

Key research papers and outputs:

  1. The role of fish and fisheries in recovering from natural hazards: Lessons learned from Vanuatu
  2. Malnutrition in rural Solomon Islands: An analysis of the problem and its drivers
  3. Following the fish inland: understanding fish distribution networks for rural development and nutrition security

About WorldFish

WorldFish is an international, non-for-profit research organization that works to reduce hunger, malnutrition and poverty by improving fisheries and aquaculture. With a 40-year track record of leading-edge science, WorldFish generates research evidence and innovations to inform sustainable practices and inclusive policies that enable better livelihoods and healthier diets for millions of poor people, particularly women, who depend on fish for food, nutrition and income in the developing world. WorldFish is a member of CGIAR, the world’s largest global partnership on agriculture research and innovation for a food secure future. Headquartered in Penang, Malaysia and with regional offices across Africa, Asia and the Pacific, WorldFish leads the cross-disciplinary CGIAR Research Program (CRP) on Fish Agri-Food Systems (FISH). 


ANCORS, based at UOW, is a multidisciplinary centre that focuses on maritime security, ocean governance and policy, and the law of the sea.

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