Moving towards sustainable seafood production that improves human health
Monday, November 2, 2015
: 2:30 p.m. - 2:50 p.m.
The federal government and many health organizations recommend eating at least two seafood meals per week, an amount considerably higher than the current per capita average of ~15 lbs per year. This advice stems from the association between seafood consumption and improved human health outcomes, but that relationship is not necessarily constant. Different types of wild caught fish and shellfish have different levels of the omega-3 fatty acids generally thought to be responsible for improved human health, and aquaculture practices can influence the fatty acid profiles of fish and shellfish as well. Moreover, some types of seafood can pose risks to human health due to contamination with chemical pollutants or harmful algal toxins. Added into this mix is the question of sustainability—the sustainable harvest of wild seafood, and the sustainable production of cultured seafood. Fisheries managers, the fishing industry and the aquaculture industry are aware of these issues, and are working to maximize health benefits of seafood while minimizing risks, and address issues of sustainability while increasing seafood supply. There are difficulties in attaining all of these goals simultaneously. For example, moving to plant-based feeds rather than fish-based feeds for cultured seafood can enhance sustainability and reduce risk from chemical contaminants, but may also reduce omega-3 fatty acids in the cultured products. This presentation will discuss approaches that can be used in striving to achieve these multiple, yet sometime conflicting, goals.
• Describe the goal of producing more seafood that promotes human health.
• Illustrate the complexity of consumer choices when deciding what seafood to consume.
• Evaluate the tradeoffs and interconnections between sustainable aquaculture and sustainable wild caught fisheries.
Environmental health sciences
Public health or related laws, regulations, standards, or guidelines
Public health or related public policy
Describe the goal of producing more seafood that promotes human health.
Illustrate the complexity of consumer choices when deciding what seafood to consume.
Evaluate the tradeoffs and interconnections between sustainable aquaculture and sustainable wild caught fisheries.
Keyword(s): Environmental Health
Presenting author's disclosure statement:
Qualified on the content I am responsible for because: I served as NOAA's Science Advisor for their Oceans and Human Health Initiative for 4 years, and also worked for over three decades for the National Marine Fisheries Service.
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.