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Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Something Fishy

We all know that eating fish is a great way to eat healthy--it contains loads of anti-oxidants; fights cancer and heart disease; has been shown to help to alleviate and prevent symptoms of asthma in children, arthritis and even dementia.  Among many other benefits.  

For much of the world, fish is as much a staple as beef is here in the US.  And, according to a new study by the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), more people world-wide are eating fish.  About 3 billion people eat fish as at least 15% of their average protein intake.

Health benefits have a hand in this, I'm sure, but probably more than anything, the growth of aquaculture--fish farming--has contributed to this increase in consumption.  Fish is safer, more readily available and helping to sustain the wild populations--a growing concern for consumers.

Still, depletion of wild stock threatens the security of the world's food supply.  According to an article on Food Naviagtor, 32% of the ocean's fish are "overexploited, delpleted or recovering".  Aquaculture must continue to grow for these species to survive. 

China is the world's top fish producer and fish continues to be the world's most traded food, worth about $102 billion in 2008 (up 9% from the previous year).  The industry is so huge and important that it helps to support the livelihood of about 8% of the world's population.  A pretty amazing number.

Read a few more details about the FAO study in the article.  For more information about sustainable seafood, go to Seafood Watch from the Monterey Bay Aquarium. 

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