Aquaculture / Asia / Fish / LIVESTOCK-FISH / Southeast Asia / WorldFish

Sustainable development of fish supplies to meet food and nutrition security needs

At the recent meeting on ‘Integrating Nutrition into the ASEAN Food Security Framework and Strategic Plan of Action on Food Security in ASEAN Region’, Michael Phillips, Malcolm Beveridge and Stephen Hall made a presentation on fish and food and nutrition security; fish as food; and fish, food and nutrition security scenarios in the ASEAN region.
Key messages include:

  • Fish is important for ASEAN food and nutrition security
  • Fish is a preferred item in the diets of many, especially poor, people
  • It is an important source of quality and highly bioavailable protein, but more importantly of essential fatty acids and micronutrients: at key life stages (e.g. the first 1000 days). Its importance should be measured in relation to consumption of other foods, intra- household food distribution
  • The species we eat are changing, as is the method of production
    • the rise of aquaculture
    • intensification of culture methods
  • Changes impact nutrient content; implications for food and nutrition security
  • Increasing availability by aquaculture is important, but is not enough
  • Gender plays an important role
  • Interventions integrating fish with horticulture systems and nutrition can improve income as well as nutrition

Key recommendations are to recognize:

  • value of fish in human nutrition
  • fish demand will grow significantly
  • wild fisheries and aquaculture are different and we need interventions in both
  • Aquaculture interventions required for food and nutrition
  • availability is only part of the solution
  • opportunities for better integration of fisheries for human nutrition and health
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