July 3, 2016

Fish loss to harm health of ten percent of world's population


Scientists are predicting more than 10 percent of the world's population, a whopping 845 million people, will experience deficiencies in critically important micronutrients including zinc, iron, vitamin A, vitamin B12, and fatty-acids in the coming decades if global fish catches continue to decline.

Christopher Golden, lead author and research scientist at Harvard School of Public Health, calls it "a perfect storm" for countries like Indonesia, the Philippines, Malaysia, the Maldives, Angola, Ghana, Nigeria and others that rely heavily on wild-caught fish for sustenance, and cautions the findings are just "the tip of the iceberg."

It's in these regions, close to the Equator, where nutrition is highly dependent on wild seafood, and where fisheries are "most at risk from illegal fishing, weak governance, poor knowledge of stock status, population pressures and climate change," Golden and his co-authors warn in a commentary in the journal Nature. "These countries urgently need effective strategies for marine conservation and fisheries management to rebuild stocks for nutritional security."

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