Report Reveals Big Dependence on Freshwater Fish for Global Food Security

by Kelly April Tyrrell
MADISON — Freshwater fish play a surprisingly crucial role in feeding some of the world’s most vulnerable people, according to a study published Monday (Oct. 24) in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Local people have long been dependent on fishery resources in the mountains of northern Thailand, like the Mastacembelus eel captured by this boy. Photo: A. Koning
Local people have long been dependent on fishery resources in the mountains of northern Thailand, like the Mastacembelus eel captured by this boy. Photo: A. Koning

“It was eye-opening just how many people are deeply dependent on freshwater fisheries as sources of protein,” says Pete McIntyre, a lead co-author of the study and professor of zoology in the Center for Limnology at the University of Wisconsin–Madison. “Many people in poor nations do not get much animal protein to eat, and freshwater fish provide protein for the nutritional equivalent of 158 million people around the world.”
By creating a map of the world’s fisheries documenting where people catch freshwater fish at the highest rates, and then linking it to data about fish biodiversity, ecosystem health, and human nutrition and socioeconomics, McIntyre’s team hopes the study helps put freshwater fish on the radar for decision-makers around the globe.
“When making big decisions, for instance when the World Bank is considering funding a dam project, we think the collateral damage done to freshwater fisheries should be explicitly listed as a quantifiable impact,” McIntyre says.
Freshwater fish provide the majority of the animal protein consumed in countries like Cambodia, Congo and Bangladesh, where large numbers of children under age 5 are considered underweight, the study finds. Continue Reading –>
Local fishers on Lake Tanganyika. Photo credit: Saskia Marijnissen.
Local fishers on Lake Tanganyika. Photo credit: Saskia Marijnissen.

 
 

1 thought on “Report Reveals Big Dependence on Freshwater Fish for Global Food Security”

  1. A big world population depends on fish for their daily food needs,So If we are talking about World food security then we should definitely think about fishes safety and security so that we have not to face food issues in the future.

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