Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Rethinking Fish Farming to Offset Its Public Health and Environmental Risks

15.07.2014

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 nwoodwr1@jhu.edu.

Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health media contact: Stephanie Desmon at 410-955-7619 or sdesmon1@jhu.edu

Natalie Wood-Wright | Eurek Alert!
Further information:
http://www.jhsph.edu/news/news-releases/2014/rethinking-fish-farming-to-offset-its-public-health-and-environmental-risks.html

Further reports about: Environmental Farming Health Rethinking Risks aquaculture benefits seafood stocks

More articles from Health and Medicine:

nachricht Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine
03.07.2015 | Rockefeller University

nachricht "CCS Telehealth Ostsachsen", Germany's largest telemedicine project, goes online in Dresden
02.07.2015 | Universitätsklinikum Carl Gustav Carus Dresden

All articles from Health and Medicine >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Viaducts with wind turbines, the new renewable energy source

Wind turbines could be installed under some of the biggest bridges on the road network to produce electricity. So it is confirmed by calculations carried out by a European researchers team, that have taken a viaduct in the Canary Islands as a reference. This concept could be applied in heavily built-up territories or natural areas with new constructions limitations.

The Juncal Viaduct, in Gran Canaria, has served as a reference for Spanish and British researchers to verify that the wind blowing between the pillars on this...

Im Focus: X-rays and electrons join forces to map catalytic reactions in real-time

New technique combines electron microscopy and synchrotron X-rays to track chemical reactions under real operating conditions

A new technique pioneered at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory reveals atomic-scale changes during catalytic reactions in real...

Im Focus: Iron: A biological element?

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and a half billion years ago.

Think of an object made of iron: An I-beam, a car frame, a nail. Now imagine that half of the iron in that object owes its existence to bacteria living two and...

Im Focus: Thousands of Droplets for Diagnostics

Researchers develop new method enabling DNA molecules to be counted in just 30 minutes

A team of scientists including PhD student Friedrich Schuler from the Laboratory of MEMS Applications at the Department of Microsystems Engineering (IMTEK) of...

Im Focus: Bionic eye clinical trial results show long-term safety, efficacy vision-restoring implant

Patients using Argus II experienced significant improvement in visual function and quality of life

The three-year clinical trial results of the retinal implant popularly known as the "bionic eye," have proven the long-term efficacy, safety and reliability of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine in Leipzig: Last chance to submit abstracts until 2 July

25.06.2015 | Event News

World Conference on Regenerative Medicine: Abstract Submission has been extended to 24 June

16.06.2015 | Event News

MUSE hosting Europe’s largest science communication conference

11.06.2015 | Event News

 
Latest News

Siemens receives order for offshore wind power plant in Great Britain

03.07.2015 | Press release

'Déjà vu all over again:' Research shows 'mulch fungus' causes turfgrass disease

03.07.2015 | Agricultural and Forestry Science

Discovery points to a new path toward a universal flu vaccine

03.07.2015 | Health and Medicine

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>