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Increasing capacity of government and private sector in Pacific Community (SPC)

Category : Updates

AwF is playing a role in having input into the Aquaculture Advisory Panel (AAP) for the Pacific Community (SPC) in its implementation of the Aquaculture Development Project (PacAqua), funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) under the New Zealand Aid Program.

This is a 5-year project that aims to improve food security and economic development in the Pacific through sustainable aquaculture by enhancing business acumen among aquaculture operations, reduce aquatic bio-security risks and increase uptake and adoption of improved aquaculture practices.

The project activities will provide business mentoring and training, capacity development and technology transfer in feed, seed and brood stock management to selected enterprises and partners. The project will also build capacity at the national level by training government fisheries staff in areas of bio-security, feed, seed and brood stock management and other services that underpin private sector and community led aquaculture. The project intends to develop linkages with regional financial institutions to improve understanding and assessment on viability of aquaculture projects.

The project is in response to the recognized need that, in order to increase and improve economic and nutritional gain from aquaculture in the Pacific, aquaculture be developed on a business-like footing, be it private sector or community led. ADFIP secretariat is also working with SPC –DFAT funded Pacific Agri-Business in Research and Development Initiative 2 Project (PARDI 2) in the development and implementation of capacity building initiatives in this sector.

In one of the projects already under way the Pacific Community (SPC) is conducting a series of training workshops under the Sustainable Pacific Aquaculture (PacAqua) project in order to build the capacity of shrimp hatchery technicians from Fiji’s Ministry of Fisheries (MoF) and the Crab Company (Fiji) Ltd (CCF). The PacAqua project is funded by the New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade. The main objective of workshops is to build the capacity of participants and improve the supply of shrimp post-larvae for farmers in Fiji. See Increasing capacity of government and private sector shrimp hatchery technicians in Fiji


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Janine delivers at GAF7

Category : Updates

Dr Janine Pierce (Director AwF Australia) presented yesterday at Gender Aquaculture Fisheries (GAF7) in Bangkok – the title ‘Photovoice: Researching Gender in Aquaculture and Fisheries through the Camera Lens’.

This was the first opportunity to promote the new Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF) logo and importantly offer the opportunity to hear first hand about Janine’s work in telling a story through PhotoVoice.

Anyone can now download the PhotoVoice Manual that Janine has prepared for AwF at http://www.aquaculturewithoutfrontiers.org/digital-stories/articles/ and we encourage you to do this and start selling your stories about your projects and work.

Janine Pierce

As tweeted by Kate Bevitt ” : A fast, low-cost, high-impact research method that can create a powerful impact on policymakers & others to influence them for positive change. Janine Pierce from and speaking @  ”

Dr Meryl Williams, another AwF Australia Director, played a major role in putting this important conference together. For more information on GAF7 see https://www.gafconference.org/program.htm .


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AwF has a New Logo

Category : Updates

For some time the organisation has been thinking of updating the logo to represent our modern day values and direction.

This new logo design (launched at GAF7 in Bangkok 2018) represents:

  • Our name – we are regularly referred as AwF so that is dominant; however, the longer version is also mentioned in lowercase
  • The circle design highlights that we are a global organisation operating in the Circular Economy (an approach to environmental sustainability characterized by the creation of economic models where no negative environmental impact is generated)
  • The three (3) circles represent the three organisations that form the group as it stands today (USA, Australia & Latin America)
  • The colors: gold characterizes our fantastic volunteers’ investment of their time, effort, skills and knowledge in all our projects; and purple depicts creativity, innovation and peace.

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VEGA comes to an End

Category : Updates

We thank all of VEGA’s wonderful staff for their assistance over the years

This is the last report from VEGA

Dear Friends,
We are sad to share that the Volunteers for Economic Growth Alliance (VEGA)
will soon close its doors after more than 14 years of development and volunteer
impact. Despite our best efforts to continue our successful partnership with the
U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) and find new ways to
partner, VEGA’s Board of Directors has made the difficult decision to close
VEGA. While this is a great disappointment and loss to everyone involved, we
also have plenty about which to be grateful and proud.
VEGA has been one of USAID’s great success stories—a partnership with a
diverse consortium of nonprofits to send volunteer experts to work with people
around the globe seeking skills and opportunities to build a better future. VEGA
has impacted the livelihoods and lives of over five million people in partnership
with USAID through 68 programs in 56 countries and more than 51,000
volunteer days, saving more than $36 million taxpayer dollars and nearly
doubling the program value through cost share and leverage. VEGA’s skilled
volunteers have not only generated economic growth, stability and opportunities
around the globe, but also have conveyed the best of American values and
VEGA’s success has been due in large part to our members—from some of the
largest global development NGOs to VEGA’s small but mighty all-volunteer
members. Because VEGA was consistently in high demand, it evolved to
become an independent, self-funded 501(c)(3) organization and grew to include
as many as 30 member organizations with networks of more than 100,000
highly skilled volunteers with a broad range of technical expertise and practical
experience in more than 140 countries. VEGA supported these members in a
number of ways, including by helping the members to partner together, and
building the capacity of the smaller organizations new to USAID. The 23
members that have implemented VEGA programs delivered impressive
development impact, sustainably strengthening local partnerships to give people
the tools they desired for more economic security and resilience. We have the
utmost confidence in our implementers as we prepare to hand over the
responsibility of administering our ongoing 11 programs to them. (VEGA is
working with USAID/Washington to determine the specifics of this hand-over.)
Of course, we owe the greatest debt of gratitude to the volunteers who have
served on VEGA programs. These volunteers have been key to our
success—and the very heart of VEGA. VEGA volunteers are highly skilled
experts who have generously served their country as pro-bono citizen diplomats,
sharing their private-sector expertise with peers and partners around the world.
With years of experience relevant to their assignments, these mid-career to senior level

professionals filled critical gaps in USAID technical assistance while
also saving taxpayer dollars.
VEGA has been a strong advocate for the value of volunteers and voice to
educate and engage the American people in global development. VEGA has
raised awareness and created community through numerous success stories,
resources, lessons learned and best practices, as well as through premier
events on International Volunteer Day to honor outstanding volunteers with the
Volunteer of the Year Award.
We are pleased and proud that our advocacy of skilled volunteers in global
development cultivated bipartisan congressional champions who repeatedly
demonstrated strong support for VEGA and volunteers in global development.
This support included appropriations language directing USAID to prioritize
incorporating volunteers and letters to USAID stating, “VEGA is valuable to the
U.S. taxpayer, to USAID field missions, and to meeting U.S. foreign assistance
In response, USAID Administrator Mark Green issued a new worldwide initiative
called the Volunteers for International Security and Prosperity Annual Program
Statement (VISP APS), described as “a mechanism through which USAID will
maximize development impact and efficient resource use by mobilizing the
creative capacity of volunteers globally.” We naturally share the view expressed
in the VISP APS that “volunteers and the principle of volunteerism maximize
USAID’s development programs through bringing in non-traditional partners and
new solutions and ideas, increasing peer-to-peer learning, building community,
advancing diplomacy, and leveraging resources.” That certainly has been the
VEGA experience.
While we and other organizations have not yet been able to utilize the VISP APS
after a year of serious effort, we are encouraged by USAID’s commitment to
exploring how to build on the legacy of VEGA. Because of our efforts, USAID
has formed a task force, organized an independent evaluation of the VEGA
LWA and indicated that a new office to leverage the generous spirit and skill of
the American people is under consideration. We hope that USAID will invest in
improving and promoting the VISP APS so that it can become an effective
partnering tool, or that it will be replaced with a next generation version of the
VEGA LWA, as we have recommended. We are sorry that we do not have the
resources to continue to support USAID’s efforts. That said, we fully expect that
our members and other volunteer-sending organizations will rise to the
VEGA is deeply gratified by the support we have garnered on the Hill and in the
administration. We appreciate Administrator Green for prioritizing USAID’s

partnership with volunteer-sending organizations and skilled volunteers as one

of his first and ongoing initiatives. We also are deeply grateful for the following
bipartisan members of Congress and their staff for their strong support:
Senators Boozman, Leahy and Isakson, and Representatives Hill, Connolly,
Fortenberry, Cicilline, Donovan, Sherman, Shea-Porter, Beyer, and Chris
Once again, we wish to thank every single VEGA member, donor, partner,
volunteer, supporter and friend of the organization for their support and trust
these past years. We would also like to thank every past and present person
who has worked for VEGA or served on the board. VEGA’s staff have shown the
world what a small, talented team could do to support not just VEGA and
USAID, but also the entire volunteer-sending and broader development
communities. Our volunteers have inspired us with their relentless passion and
It has been an honor to serve and work with you all. We couldn’t have done it
without you.
Michael Deal
President & CEO

John D. Pompay
Chairman of the Board

P.S. Please look for our upcoming final newsletter, which will contain highlights
of the VEGA legacy. Meanwhile, please take the opportunity to download the
VEGA LWA Final Report and tour the resources and stories on our website
while it is still live.

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Awards in memory of Prof M C Nandeesha

Category : Updates

AwF is delighted to see our previous President’s name carried on at GAF-India, Kochi, Kerala 21-24 November.

The winner of the first Asian Fisheries Society Indian Branch Prof. M.C. Nandeesha Gender Justice and Equality Award was AwF (Australia) Director, Meryl Williams.


Here are the details of the winners:

“Read More”

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Festive Greetings and a Happy New Year to all!

Category : Updates

We thank all our volunteers for your contributions to AwF this year and we look forward to working with you in 2018.

Many hands make light work!

As we are a volunteer organisation, run solely by volunteers, we are keen to engage as many of you as possible in creating our new Strategic Action Plan 2018-2022
(5 years).

We see the Vision, Mission and Strategic principles basically as outlined at http://www.aquaculturewithoutfrontiers.org/about/strategic-plan/, and we welcome your input and ideas for specific actions to achieve these.

Please engage by communicating your ideas HERE

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CERES Global Trip 2015

The trip to Timor-Leste between the 11th – 19th of June 2015 with CERES Global offered a unique opportunity to meet with various individuals and stakeholders from a range of backgrounds. This presented a valuable insight into a range of overlapping and cross cutting development directives, initiatives, programmes and projects being undertaken across scales. The stakeholders relevant to a mutually aligned project between CERES Global and AwF – include:

• Aileu Science and Technology Institute (ASTI)
• Family Life Centre, Aileu
• Peri urban community garden, Dili
• Mercy Corps
• World Fish
• Hivos
• Permatil

During the visit there were three broad national initiatives that were focused on increasing: food access and sustainable food production through school garden programs ; secondly, educating and increasing community capacity in sustainable farming and managing biodiversity and community resources through incorporating permaculture into the national curricula ; and lastly, bolstering food security through increasing access to local and regional aquaculture products for school meals.

Children are among the most vulnerable members in Timorese society: 58% suffer chronic malnutrition; 38% suffer from anaemia, malaria, diarrhoea and other diseases of children do not reach their ideal weight. The opportunity for providing meals to children from school gardens and to further educate students in food production and good nutrition is a big part of the solution.

This will be the first country globally to incorporate permaculture into its national school curricula. This will be potentially a massive milestone for permaculture. It is also important to point out that Aquaculture and aquatic agricultural systems or integrated water and resource management are key components of permaculture. There is the potential to work towards inclusion of aquaculture school projects, which build upon other initiatives or directives to reverse malnutrition and increase community knowledge and access to nutritious food.

The Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries is in the process of surveying and deciding upon multiple locations across Timor-Leste to establish aquaculture for the provision of fish for school meals. Total production scales are in the order of hundreds of hectares (total locations, areas and information on partners needs to be clarified). Aquaculture production will occur in provincial locations in proximity to schools.

Here is a link to the complete report.

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Shrimp Farming in Aceh

Category : Digital Stories , Indonesia

Shrimp farming is an important agricultural activity in Nanggroe Aceh Darussalam. Prior to the tsunami, in 2003, Dinas Kelautan dan Perikanam estimate that Aceh produced 10,300 tonnes of shrimp valued at US $46.5 million. The major proportion of this shrimp production was the black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon) which made $41.8 million.

There are approximately 15,000 brackishwater farmers in Aceh, through typically they are small-scale farmers with less than two hectares of pond area. These figures only include farm owners or operators and therefore don’t take into account all the workers involved in the production supply chain such as labourers, input suppliers, traders, marketing and service provision. The Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) estimates each hectare of pond provides direct employment to 1-3 people, with up to 200,000 people in Aceh, employed directly in brackishwater shrimp and fish farming.

Shrimps are stocked at low density. Low density allows for less usage of required feed and fertiliser inputs, for example many farmers do not feed for the first month of crop production relying on natural pond productivity to provide food for the juvenile shrimp. Some even wait till closer to harvest time, which in turn minimises environmental damage from nutrient release. Farmed shrimp are harvested at 20 to 30 grams in three to four months.

Shrimp species farmed in Aceh:

Black tiger shrimp (Penaeus monodon):


  • Most commonly farmed species.
  • Well established hatchery techniques
  • Rapid growth.
  • Highly resilient to variations in salinity and pond temperature.
  • High demand.
  • Good quality produced in Aceh.

Species currently being developed for farming by Balai Budidaya Air Payau (Centre for Brackishwater Aquaculture Development) include:

White shrimp (Indicus):

Is a local shrimp species. Little is known about suitability of the species for aquaculture in Aceh.

Flower King (Penaeus merguensis):

Large fast growing shrimp similar to P. Monodon.

Species unsuitable to farm in Aceh:

White shrimp (Litopenaeus Vannamei):

  • Not native to Indonesia.
  • Brings disease such as Taura Syndrome Virus (TSV).
  • Requires super intensive production systems therefore a higher investment, hence it is not suitable for small scale farmers, as it is not financially viable.
  • Increased environmental impact due to intensive production system.
  • Greater international competition.
  • Prices are lower than black tiger shrimp and appear to have stabilised at EU5/kg whereas black tiger shrimp prices are predicted to increase.

Here is a link to the complete report.

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Aquaculture for the rural poor in Sundarban, West Bengal, India

Category : Digital Stories , India

Following positive results of a previous pilot project, JGVK developed a two year partnership with Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF), supported by Toleo Foundation USA and with co-finance by Indian Group Funen (IGF), Denmark. The overall goal of the project was to alleviate poverty in the project area through expanded aquaculture production among the poor farmers. The specific objectives on the other hand were to:

(i) improve the capacity of 10 JGVK staff and 100 beneficiaries (poor local farmers) for optimizing the pond management of semi-intensive integrated carp-mola ponds in order to reach a production of 3-4 tons per hectare.

(ii) establish a small local hatchery to secure local availability of quality carp fingerlings.

(iii) secure supply of fingerlings to the local consumers through a number of local fish farmers.

Project Accomplishments:

  • JGVK staff were trained on hatching fish Juvenile, nursing, brooder fish management and pond preparation. Based on this training, JGVK staff organized orientation and trainings of local farmers.     
  • Mass awareness was conducted in the project area through the SHG members and students. The basic focus was the preservation of small local fishes, better and management and scientific farming
  • A small hatchery was set up with the guidance and support from experts like Dr. Nandeesha and his team. Total renu spawn production from the hatchery was 303,396,418 batis (one bati contain 30,000 fish spawn) respectively during years 2008-2010.

Accomplishments also include local availability of good quality fish Juveniles (spawn) from  hatchery and growing fish production in the area. Poor farmers earn money by selling  fingerlings, fries and fish. The cost benefit analysis of 11 nursery farmers shown that on average  they are getting Rs. 3000- 4000 as net income within 25-30 days.


Key lessons from the project

  • Improved knowledge base of farmers: Series of orientation, exposure by international, national and local experts and practical application/demonstration were useful to local poor farmers. Thus increasing  their cash income and nutritional content in their diet.
  • Infrastructure has created a positive impact in the area: The infrastructural facilities like setting up small hatchery, demonstration nursery and brooder pond at the JGVK campus motivate poor farmers and pond owners from surrounding areas for better fish farming.
  • Women are empowered: Through JGVK, women are mobilized to take care of their pond. Thus, they became more confident in their effort help to supplement their family income.Read More here: INDIA AwF-Toleo Foundation Sunderbans Project (Report July 2010)

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Visit to UTMarT and Aquaculture Learning Center Facilities in Tamaulipas, Mexico

Category : Digital Stories , Mexico

Visit to UTMarT and Aquaculture Learning Center Facilities in Tamaulipas, Mexico

AwF has signed a Cooperation Agreement with the Universidad Tecnológica Del Mar de  Tamaulipas Bicentenario (UTMarT). The aim of this agreement is to jointly develop food security and personal training in the International Center for Innovation and Technology Transfer for Aquaculture, which will be AwF’s first Aquaculture Learning Centre (ALC).


Day 1 – Tancol

We visited the ALC near Tampico. The site consists of several large concrete ponds, a meandering system of raceways and a series of smaller concrete ponds. We also saw the construction of a hatchery that is planned for catfish and other freshwater fish. Classrooms, labs and dorms are being constructed and renovated.

During our drive, we learned the following about oyster producers and markets:

  • They harvest oysters to fill orders e g. 100 shucked meat for 80 pesos (less than a penny a piece).
  • Harvested oysters are taken home and shucked before being sold to buyers who transport them to the city markets and restaurants.
  • There is no current exploration of half-shell markets that could significantly increase the price per oyster.
  • Selling chilled oysters in the shell would present new refrigeration and handling challenges.

One low cost alternative to explore is developing a hatchery with spat-on-shell capabilities. From this extra stock, fishermen could begin to explore culling the prettiest oysters and try to develop a market for oysters on the half shell.

Day 2 – La Pesca, UTMarT and Laguna Morales

Margorito, fisherman and president of the local fishing cooperative took us by boat to Laguna  Morales. He pulled up several clusters of oyster shells. Most of which were dead. We saw crab  traps that fishermen bait and set with colour-coded floats that they tend almost daily. This is a  good sign for the prospect of setting out oyster culture cages. Later that morning, we lectured over 45 university students in General Aquaculture with an  emphasis on shellfish aquaculture.


Day 3 – UTMarT and Villahermosa

We returned to the university to examine the oysters and the water sample that we collected  from the Languna on the previous day. Then, we taught a class at the university on microalgae  culture techniques to a couple of students and professors.Afterwards, we visited Villahermosa, a formerly state-run aquaculture facility recently turned  over to the university. Here, there is a pumping station from the river that supplies extensive  outdoor ponds A newer building is being designed and constructed for a shellfish hatchery with  an estimated production capacity of about 10-15 million eyed-oyster larvae in a 4 week period.

Day 4 – Meeting with Fishermen Cooperatives

We convened a meeting with 9 fishermen and they were all eager to expand their oyster harvests by means of better management, more open areas and possibly culturing them. We described various methods of collecting natural spat and ways of enhancing natural production. They expressed interest in aquaculture and appeared ready to try to plant seed oysters in bags as we had described.


The educational, research and productive potential of fresh and saltwater aquaculture facilities at Tancol and Villahermosa are tremendous. The UTMarT staff who accompanied us and others we met are inspirational teachers and evidently have the expertise to launch the Villahermosa facility. The fishermen/producers we met are motivated to improve their fishing opportunities and trying basic oyster culture methods.

F2F AwF Volunteer Assignments #15 & 16

Scott Lindell  and Rick Karney

Read More here:
MEXICO: AwF-UA Farmer-to-Farmer Programme (Trip Report November 2013)