WorldFish Tilapia Research Co-ordination and Planning Visit

Lead Research Organisation: Bangor University
Department Name: Sch of Biological Sciences




10 25 50
Description The primary purpose of the proposed visit was to establish a research collaboration between the Turner lab at Bangor University, the di-Palma and Haerty (Dr Wilfried Haerty) labs at TGAC (now the Earlham Institute), and the WorldFish genetics group, with the aim of developing research proposals for submission to national/international funding programmes.
We attended a symposium in Zanzibar in September 2016 at which it was agreed to set up a stakeholders consortium. We also agreed to a followup workshop in Morogoro in January 2017 primarily aimed at training staff in the use of a smartphone app to record distribution records of tilapias in natural water bodies and fish farms.
We had originally planned to travel to Malaysia to coincide with a visit by Swedish and Tanzanian researchers, but the funding notification did not come through in time for us to make the arrangements. However, an even better opportunity arose as we were able to attend the international AgriFose meeting in Zanzibar, along with scientists from WorldFish and Sweden.
Exploitation Route Our main aim was achieved, as several funding bids were submitted to GCRF and Darwin Initiative. Core GCRF funds were awarded to develop further bioinformatic and genomic tools for tilapia aquaculture, and a grant from JRS Biodiversity Foundation will allow for further enhancement of field data collection, archiving and sharing, with the geographic coverage extended to Kenya, in a collaboration involving the National Museums of Kenya, Sokoine University of Agriculture and COSTECH in Tanzania. Additional discussion are in progress to expand this approach to Malawi and Uganda. WorldFish and Bangor University are now formally recognised as partners of the Earlham Institute and are collaborating on sequencing the GIFT strain of tilapia developed by WorldFish.
Sectors Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment

Description We have developed a smartphone App, TilapiaMap aimed at collecting data on the distribution of native and invasive tilapia strains in Africa. We have trained staff of local agencies in Tanzania and Kenya in its use and some preliminary data has been collected. In process we have also helped raise awareness of the threats posed by exotic species, which has resulted in meetings of fish farmers in Tanzania & Kenya, and a change in policy and practice among cage farmers operating on Lake Nyasa and in the Mbeya region covering part of the lake catchment.
First Year Of Impact 2017
Sector Agriculture, Food and Drink,Environment
Impact Types Economic,Policy & public services

Description Mapping for Conservation of Native Tilapia Resources in East Africa
Amount $264,100 (USD)
Organisation JRS Biodiversity Foundation 
Sector Charity/Non Profit
Country United States
Start 09/2017 
End 09/2020
Description Tilapia for sustainable fish production while maintaining Biodiversity 
Organisation Worldfish
Country Malaysia 
Sector Charity/Non Profit 
PI Contribution F. Di Palma is a research partner in the new CGIAR research program on fish agri-food systems.
Collaborator Contribution J. Benzie from WorldFish is a research partner on Earlham BBSRC Core Strategic programme "Genomics for Food Security" for the Natural diversity and adaptation in aquaculture research activities.
Impact Partnership yielded activities in Core strategic programmes and training workshops and further partnerships.I t is multidisciplinary including genomics, informatics, breeding expertise, Fisheries officers from tanzania, Ministry of aquaculture and Life stocks in Tanzania, further academic institutions in Tanzania Uk and Sweden, ecology, and environmental policy as well as disease resistance.
Start Year 2016
Description Invasive species threat to native tilapia biodiversity 
Form Of Engagement Activity Engagement focused website, blog or social media channel
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact Invasive species threat to native tilapia biodiversity
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020
Description New bioinformatics tool spots hybrid fish that threaten the survival of natural tilapia populations in aquaculture 
Form Of Engagement Activity A magazine, newsletter or online publication
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach National
Primary Audience Media (as a channel to the public)
Results and Impact News letter describing the development of a cost effective genotyping platform enabling tilapia species discrimination and species identification
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2021
Description Poster presentation 
Form Of Engagement Activity A talk or presentation
Part Of Official Scheme? No
Geographic Reach International
Primary Audience Professional Practitioners
Results and Impact Poster presentation as part of the Biodiversity Genomics Conference
Year(s) Of Engagement Activity 2020