Aquatic Foods to Nourish Nations



Golden CD, Koehn JZ, Shepon A, Passarelli S, Free CM, Viana DF, Matthey H, Eurich JG, Gephart JA, Fluet-Chouinard E, Nyboer EA, Lynch AJ, Kjellevold M, Bromage S & Little DC (2021) Aquatic Foods to Nourish Nations. Nature, 598, pp. 315-320.

Despite contributing to healthy diets for billions of people, aquatic foods are often undervalued as a nutritional solution because their diversity is often reduced to the protein and energy value of a single food type (‘seafood’ or ‘fish’)1,2,3,4. Here we create a cohesive model that unites terrestrial foods with nearly 3,000 taxa of aquatic foods to understand the future impact of aquatic foods on human nutrition. We project two plausible futures to 2030: a baseline scenario with moderate growth in aquatic animal-source food (AASF) production, and a high-production scenario with a 15-million-tonne increased supply of AASFs over the business-as-usual scenario in 2030, driven largely by investment and innovation in aquaculture production. By comparing changes in AASF consumption between the scenarios, we elucidate geographic and demographic vulnerabilities and estimate health impacts from diet-related causes. Globally, we find that a high-production scenario will decrease AASF prices by 26% and increase their consumption, thereby reducing the consumption of red and processed meats that can lead to diet-related non-communicable diseases5,6 while also preventing approximately 166 million cases of inadequate micronutrient intake. This finding provides a broad evidentiary basis for policy makers and development stakeholders to capitalize on the potential of aquatic foods to reduce food and nutrition insecurity and tackle malnutrition in all its forms.

Risk factors; Sustainability

Additional co-authors: Pierre Charlebois, Manuel Barange, Stefania Vannuccini, Ling Cao, Kristin M. Kleisner, Eric B. Rimm, Goodarz Danaei, Camille DeSisto, Heather Kelahan, Kathryn J. Fiorella, Edward H. Allison, Jessica Fanzo & Shakuntala H. Thilsted

Nature: Volume 598

FundersThe Walton Family Foundation Inc
Publication date31/12/2021
Publication date online15/09/2021
Date accepted by journal16/08/2021

People (1)


Professor Dave Little

Professor Dave Little

Professor, Institute of Aquaculture