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Millions Missing Out On Vital Nutrients Due To Overfishing

Seafood is one of the most nutrient rich foods, packed with vitamins, and already provides a fifth of the daily protein needs of over 3 billion people globally.

New analysis from the global non-profit Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) shows that eliminating overfishing could provide nutrition for millions of additional people and help to prevent serious and life-threatening health conditions. Seafood is one of the most nutrient rich foods, packed with vitamins, and already provides a fifth of the daily protein needs of over 3 billion people globally [1].

Latest estimates suggest if all global fisheries were managed sustainably, 16 million more tons of seafood could be harvested every year [2]. This additional catch together with the 96 million tons of wild seafood catch currently projected for 2030 [3] could prevent iron deficiencies in 4 million people and vitamin B12 deficiencies in 18 million people [4]. This could help alleviate anemia, a global public health problem that affects nearly half of young children under five and 40% of pregnant women globally [5].

The increased total catch could also help eliminate zinc and calcium deficiencies in more than two and a half million and 24 million people respectively while increasing vitamin A intakes for five million people [6]. Deficiency in vitamin A alone is the leading cause of preventable blindness in children [7].

MSC’s analysis found that 38 million people missing out on healthy levels of essential Omega-3 fatty acids (DHA and EPA) [8], which are mainly found in seafood, could also have their daily requirements met if the oceans are fished sustainably, helping to reduce deaths from heart disease and strokes [10]. Almost 90% of Americans do not meet the recommended intake of seafood per week, as set in the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans [11].

Continue reading at www.msc.org.com

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