Michael New O.B.E. (our Patron) introduced the concept of forming a voluntary organization to contribute to the alleviation of poverty through small-scale aquaculture during a keynote paper given at the World Aquaculture Society (WAS) conference in Salvador, Brazil in 2003.

His idea had been stimulated by reading about the activities of Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) and he ventured the idea that people that had retired from a career in aquaculture might wish to volunteer their experience to help those less fortunate than themselves. In fact, he found that voluntary service in aquaculture appealed to a wide spectrum of individuals, from students to retirees. Encouraged by this response, he asked some of his friends and colleagues to help him establish a mission statement and an initial strategy for his group, for which he had proposed the name Aquaculture without Frontiers (AwF).

The subsequent development of an initial strategy enabled the launch of AwF during a special session at the WAS conference in Hawai’i in 2004. At the end of this session it was gratifying that one of the original supporters, Dallas Alston, ‘passed round the hat’, thus obtaining the very first donations from people who were not part of the founding group.


The AwF logo


The original creation of the logo by Michael New and Salvador Meza is gratefully acknowledged.

The late Dr Mudnakudu C Nandeesha, a former Chairman of AwF, was subsequently responsible for producing AwF lapel badges featuring the logo. These are proudly worn today by the UK trustees.

Dr. Nandeesha after their creation eloquently gave the following explanation of the design at a conference in India:

“The logo design has a number of meanings:
- the fish is a dominant part of what aquaculture is all about;
- the hands/wings are about supporting, giving and working;
- the ‘blue’ represents water and the ‘gold’ represents money/investment;
- and finally there has long been a theory that humans and other vertebrates inherited their basic body plans from our fishy ancestors.”