A nutrition-sensitive approach to fisheries management and development in Timor-Leste and Nusa Tenggara Timur Province, Indonesia

A close-up of hands holding fish
Project code
AUD 2,225,000
Research program manager
Dr Ingrid Van Putten
Project leader
Dr David Mills, WorldFish
Commissioned organisation
WorldFish Center
SEP 2021
JUL 2025
Project status
Legally committed/Active
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This project aims to work with fishing communities, government agencies and key stakeholders to develop and pilot inclusive nutrition-sensitive fisheries management systems that are adaptable for diverse inshore tropical fisheries.

Along coasts and near inland waterways, fishing provides livelihoods and essential nutrition for millions. Fish and other aquatic foods are a rich source of bioavailable vitamins, trace elements and essential fatty acids that, in many contexts and particularly within the first 1000 days of life, can reduce the risk of hidden hunger (micronutrient deficiencies) that cost the health, wellbeing and economic performance of individuals and entire societies. The contemporary challenge that local, national and international governance faces is to recognise and secure those benefits inclusively and adjust management in such a way that improves sustainability and nutrition outcomes, and to manage the synergies and trade-offs amongst environmental sustainability and human wellbeing goals.  

The project will contribute to the development of global principles of nutrition-sensitive approaches to fisheries and develop scalable guidance for the approach with a particular focus on Small Island Developing States (SIDS). Equally important is that this project will develop, refine and apply research methodologies that enable response and adjustment to diverse contexts.

Project outcomes

  • Defining key drivers that shape the integration and benefits of fish in terms of household livelihood and food and nutrition security in focus communities.
  • Evaluating factors enabling and limiting the consumption of fish and its potential to reduce under-nutrition with a particular focus on women, and children in the first 1000 days of life.
  • Determining pathways to nutrition benefits from case study fisheries, barriers to improved outcomes, and entry points for nutrition sensitive management.
  • Testing and refining principles and practices for inclusive nutrition-sensitive fisheries using contrasting fisheries in case study communities.
  • Developing contextualised best-practice guidance, and frameworks for adaptation and scaling, for inclusive nutrition-sensitive fisheries management.
Key partners
Research Centre for Marine and Fisheries Socio-economics Indonesia
Ministry of Agriculture and Fisheries, Timor-Leste
fact sheet placeholder image
Fact Sheet FIS/2017/032