More than 50% of all fish we consume is farmed. Aquaculture can produce healthy, high quality food with limited environmental impact, creating jobs and prosperity, if done sustainably.

IDH works in countries where the aquaculture sector has been established for centuries, as well as in countries where there is potential and need for more locally farmed fish.

Do more with less

To increase the sustainability of the sector in China, Vietnam, Indonesia, Thailand and Ecuador, disease and feed issues must be tackled.

Diseases result in loss of income, waste of inputs and irresponsible practices like the excessive use of antimicrobials. Disease occurrence threatens farmers long-term business. As a result, investors are reluctant to make long term (sustainable) investments.

Feed has an effect on people, planet and profit. It is the biggest cost in aquaculture production; it is sometimes used ineffciently; and may contain marine ingredients such as fish oil and fish meal which may be come from illegal, unreported and unregulated (IUU) fisheries.

IDH tackles these issues by strengthening partnerships, supporting innovation and driving investment into more sustainable production.

Local food

Most often people in poorer countries without a fish farming history, such as Mozambique and Haiti, do eat fish. Although traditionally fish were caught locally, demand is increasingly been satisfied through seafood imports, depriving the country of much needed jobs and economic growth. To develop a well-functioning aquaculture sector knowledge and skills, quality of inputs and access to finance are needed.

IDH strengthens hubs that can provide knowledge, quality inputs and access to markets and investment to small and medium scale producers.

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Relevant SDGs

  • Responsible Consumption and Production
  • Decent Work and Economic Growth
  • Life below water
  • Partnerships for the Goals

Our Impact Claims

Impact claim 1

IDH will contribute to improving the sector’s risk level by supporting a global, multi-stakeholder platform leading to a reduction in adverse environmental aquaculture farming practices by 2020. The platform will operate through the development and adoption of sourcing guidelines (including specific feed and health management best practices) for aquaculture certification and improve­ment models.

Impact claim 2

IDH will contribute to the development of a proof of concept for improved on-farm feed and disease risk mitigation strategies and market access. We will do this by supporting the implementation of responsible feed and health man­agement best practices in the focus countries (Vietnam, Thailand, Indonesia, and Ecuador).

Impact claim 3

IDH will trigger investments in critical bottlenecks (availability, affordability, and quality of feed and seed supply) to aquaculture production in Africa, with a focus on responsible health and feed management practices (as defined under impact claim 2) by 2020. [/expand]

Our approach

Building on experiences with our landscape and commodity programs we are developing aquascapes.

We improve production by strengthening partnerships as to develop joint strategies. We organize cooperation between producers and local governments and with experts that can
support in health management or can conduct market, gender, or carrying capacity studies.

We support innovation by promoting the use of technology and data to increase sector efficiency, traceability and transparency.

We strengthen partnerships and innovation and build and execute innovative finance mechanisms to drive investment into reduced production risks and increased commercial viability. This results in more sustainable production, attracting increased commercial investment over the longer-term.

We encourage market recognition of lower risk areas, leading to Verified Sourcing Areas which enable buyers to accelerate their demand for sustainable products at scale. We also encourage the development of local and regional markets by taking a Value Chain Development approach.


Initiatives in Aquaculture

Projects in Aquaculture

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Facts and Figures

  • Private sector (sustainability) investments (in million euro)

    Target 2018 1
    Result 2018 0.272
    Cumulative target 2020 13.65
    Cumulative result 2016-2018 8.24
  • Number of producers/workers/community members trained on key subjects for sustainable production, environmental and social sustainability

    Target 2018 1.000
    Result 2018 800
    Cumulative target 2020 30.000
    Cumulative result 2016-2018 27.782
  • Farmland area where trained practices are applied

    Target 2018 500
    Result 2018 600
    Cumulative target 2020 25.000
    Cumulative result 2016-2018 33.273



Title Type Year
A practical guide for integrating data into farmers’ decision making – Lesson from Asia Toolkit and guide 2020
ToR Seafood MAP Terms of Reference 2020
Aquaculture Program in Haiti Brochure 2019
Aquaculture Program in Mozambique Brochure 2019
ToR on successful approaches for data-driven decision making by Asian farmers Terms of Reference 2019

Contact us for more information

The Aquaculture Team

Partners we work with in aquaculture