Scientists from the ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies at James Cook University (Coral CoE at JCU) are part of an international team that found children in many tropical coastal areas could see significant health improvements if just a fraction of the fish caught nearby was diverted into their diets.
Co-author Dr David Mills from Coral CoE at JCU is a senior scientist with WorldFish. He says fish is an important source of protein, omega-3 fatty acids, and micronutrients such as iron, zinc, and calcium.
People - Micronutrient - Deficiencies
"Yet, more than two billion people worldwide suffer from micronutrient deficiencies," he said.
For some nations these deficiencies -- linked to maternal mortality and stunted growth through childhood -- are estimated to reduce GDP by up to 11 percent.
Author - Prof - Christina - Hicks - Project
Lead author Prof Christina Hicks started the project when she was a research fellow at Coral CoE at JCU. The study suggests enough nutrients are already being fished from the oceans to substantially reduce malnutrition -- but in some countries they are not reaching local populations, who are often those most in need.
"Our research shows that the nutrients currently fished from their waters exceed the dietary requirements for all under five-year olds living along their coasts," Prof Hicks said.
Catches - Impact - Food - Security - Combat
"If these catches were more accessible locally, they could have a huge impact on global food security and combat malnutrition-related disease in millions of people."
The team of 11 researchers recorded the concentration of seven nutrients in more than 350 species of marine fish and developed a statistical model to predict how much nutrition any given species of fish contains. This was based on their diet, sea water temperature and energy expenditure.
Modelling - Researchers - Composition - Thousands - Species
The predictive modelling allowed researchers to accurately calculate the likely nutrient composition of thousands of fish species that were...
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