Aquaculture Is Source of Nearly Half the World’s Seafood
As government agencies recommend greater consumption of seafood for its health benefits, a new analysis led by researchers from the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future urges medical and public health professionals to consider the environmental and health impact of seafood sourcing, particularly aquaculture, or the farming of fish, shellfish and crustaceans. The paper appears in the July 2014 issue of the Journal of Current Environmental Health Reports.
Nearly half of all seafood consumed around the world comes from fish farms. Increasing seafood consumption has been proposed as part of a strategy to combat the global epidemics of obesity and diabetes.
In addition, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency now recommend pregnant women, nursing mothers and young children increase their seafood consumption to two to three servings per week of low-mercury fish.
“While increased seafood consumption comes with many health benefits, we can’t ignore the clear warning signs that we are rapidly approaching the limits of wild fish that can be caught,” says David C. Love, PhD, MSPH, senior author of the study and an assistant scientist with the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health.
“To fill this gap, aquaculture is replacing natural fisheries as a major source of edible seafood. Many aquaculture methods are safe and sustainable. However, some methods pose unnecessary risks to public health and deplete natural resources.”
Overfishing has depleted wild fish stocks and damaged marine resources, and fish farms have moved in to fill some of the gaps. But farmed seafood is not without risk. It often contains the same contaminants, such as heavy metals, that are found in nature. Meanwhile, the fish are given feed medicated with antibiotics to ward off disease or treated with chemicals, which can end up in the water supply.
Aquaculture further contributes to the reduction of fish stocks because wild fish are often used for feed.
On the plus side, aquaculture operations can provide jobs in coastal communities where people once depended on fishing for their livelihoods.
Researchers recommend applying and expanding the One Health approach, an existing interdisciplinary model that brings together human, animal, and environmental health services to address issues related to aquaculture. One Health has historically focused on infectious diseases that pass between animals and humans, but the researchers say it could bridge the gap between the desire to have enough seafood to satisfy consumer demand and the effects of farming on the environment.
Recommendations for increasing seafood consumption must be balanced with risks of further damage to fisheries and risks to public health and the environment from some forms of aquaculture, they say.
“The ideal aquaculture operations that consumers should support are ones that produce nutritious seafood, provide a high quality of life for workers, and conserve resources for future generations,” Love says. “This study promotes a multi-stakeholder approach to reforming and developing an aquaculture industry that operates sustainably and contributes to human diets that promote health."
“Public Health Perspectives on Aquaculture” was written by Juan G. Gomez, Jillian P. Fry, Marcia Erazo and David C. Love.
The research was supported by the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future with funding from the Grace Communications Foundation.
# # #
Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future media contact: Natalie Wood-Wright at 443-287-2771 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health media contact: Stephanie Desmon at 410-955-7619 or email@example.com.
Natalie Wood-Wright | Eurek Alert!
Researchers identify cause of hereditary skeletal muscle disorder
22.02.2017 | Klinikum der Universität München
Second cause of hidden hearing loss identified
20.02.2017 | Michigan Medicine - University of Michigan
Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...
The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.
The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...
Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...
Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".
Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...
13.02.2017 | Event News
10.02.2017 | Event News
09.02.2017 | Event News
22.02.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
22.02.2017 | Life Sciences
22.02.2017 | Physics and Astronomy