Online Program

Wasted Seafood in the United States: From Net to Plate

Monday, November 2, 2015 : 3:10 p.m. - 3:30 p.m.

David Love, PhD, MSPH, Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future and Environmental Health Sciences Department, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD
Based on the average level of seafood consumption in the United States (U.S.), the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages citizens to double their intake to improve health and the nutritional value of their diets. The future availability of seafood, however, is threatened by overfishing, certain unsustainable seafood farming practices, ocean pollution and acidification, and other factors. The growing global population and advancing ecological threats such as climate change are placing increasing demands and constraints on both U.S. and global seafood supplies. Waste reduction has the potential to support increased seafood consumption without further stressing aquatic resources. It is essential to quantify waste levels in order to effectively target and design waste reduction interventions. Accordingly, we used previous multi-country regional research and updated datasets to calculate a country-specific (U.S.) estimate of seafood wasted. Approximately 48% of the edible U.S. seafood supply (0.988 million metric tons (MMT)) went uneaten in 2012. The greatest portions of this waste occurred at the levels of consumers (in and out of home) (64%, 0.626 MMT), distribution and retail operations (17%, 0.160 MMT), and bycatch discarded by commercial fishers (16%, 0.159 MMT). Based on conservative estimates we developed, this waste represents 193 billion grams of protein, 1.7 trillion mg of EPA+DHA, and 1 trillion kilocalories, and this wasted seafood could provide the total yearly target quantity of protein for 9.5 million men or 11.5 million women, EPA+DHA for 18.5 million adults, and calories for 1.4 million adults. Alternately, the seafood that is wasted could fill 34% of the gap between current consumption and U.S. Department of Agriculture-recommended levels. Strategies involving governments, businesses, and consumers should be employed to reduce seafood waste and create a more efficient and sustainable seafood system.

Learning Areas:

Environmental health sciences
Public health or related public policy
Public health or related research

Learning Objectives:
List two reasons why the 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans encourages citizens to double their seafood intake. Describe seafood loss and waste in the supply chain and among consumers.

Keyword(s): Food Security, Sustainability

Presenting author's disclosure statement:

Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I am the lead author of a research study of seafood waste.
Any relevant financial relationships? No

I agree to comply with the American Public Health Association Conflict of Interest and Commercial Support Guidelines, and to disclose to the participants any off-label or experimental uses of a commercial product or service discussed in my presentation.