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Treating fish as a public health asset can strengthen food security in lower income countries: researchers by Valentina Ruiz Leotaud August 05,2020   |  Source: Phys.Org

The food and nutrient security of billions of people worldwide depend on fish being treated as a domestic public health asset instead of a commodity.

A new paper by researchers with the Sea Around Us—Indian Ocean initiative at the University of Western Australia and the Sea Around Us global initiative at the University of British Columbia reviews evidence to back the urgent need to develop health- and nutrition-focused fisheries policies that drift away from current export-oriented, profit-maximizing policies.

"Fish constitutes a major component of the diet of more than 3 billion people around the world. In low-income countries, in particular, small-scale fisheries are the main source of nutrients for over a billion people," said Gabriel Vianna, lead author of the study and a research fellow with the Sea Around Us—Indian Ocean. "The problem is that many of these countries export their highly-nutritious fish and import lower-quality fish and fish products, thus creating a net loss of essential nutrients."

Under-nutrition affects around 13 percent of the population in low-income countries while fish rich in vital nutrients including iron, vitamins and essential fatty acids such as omega-3 are removed from their waters and sent to developed countries or ground into

 

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