Fish is especially rich in essential omega-3 long-chain polyunsaturated fatty acids and micronutrients, including bioavailable calcium, iron and zinc. Fish features prominently in the diet of most, especially poor, Zambians. Despite this, its significance in the diet of women and children in the first 1,000 days is not well understood. Our current knowledge of the nutrient content of commonly consumed fish species in Zambia is synthesised.
Small fish are a common food and an integral part of the everyday carbohydraterich diets of many population groups in poor countries. These populations also suffer from undernutrition, including micronutrient deficiencies – the hidden hunger. Small fish species, as well as the little oil, vegetables and spices with which they are cooked enhance diet diversity. Small fish are a rich source of animal protein, essential fatty acids, vitamins and minerals.
This article examines two strands of discourse on wild capture fisheries; one that focuses on resource sustainability and environmental impacts, another related to food and nutrition security and human well-being. Available data and research show that, for countries most dependent on fish to meet the nutritional requirements of their population, wild capture fisheries remain the dominant supplier.
Fish—including finfish and shellfish—are an important item in the human food basket, contributing 17 percent of the global animal-based protein supply in 2010. They are an especially valuable food source in developing countries, where more than 75 percent of the world’s fish consumption occurs. In addition to protein, fish contain micronutrients and longchain omega-3 fatty acids that are essential for maternal and child health, but often deficient in the diets of the poor.
The strain by nutrition interaction in body weight and survival rate was examined by testing three genetic groups (Selection and Control lines of the GIFT strain, and Red tilapia) at two levels of protein in the diet (28% and 34%). The GIFT strain of Nile tilapia (Oreochromis niloticus) has been selected for high-breeding values for body weight, whereas the Control was contemporaneously maintained and selected for breeding values of body weight close to the population mean. The Red tilapia (Oreochromis spp) was unselected at the time of the experiment.
Fisheries and fish supply are undergoing a fundamental structural transition, as indicated by a ten country analysis. Aquaculture now provides around half the fish for direct human consumption and is set to grow further, but capture fisheries continue to make essential contributions to food and nutrition security throughout the global South. Capture fisheries provide diverse, nutritionally valuable fish and fish products which are often culturally preferred and easily accessed by the poor.
Two sustainable, low-cost pond polyculture technologies have been developed to culture carps and mola in ponds, and culture carps and mola in ponds connected to rice fields. These technologies can increase total fish production from ponds. Farmers depend on carps as an income source, and mola is rich in micronutrients that can help to meet the nutritional requirements of the rural poor, particularly women and young children.
Fish, in Bangladesh where malnutrition remains a significant development challenge, is an irreplaceable animal-source food in the diet of millions. However, existing data on the nutrient composition of fish do not reflect the large diversity available and have focused on only a few select nutrients. The purpose of this study was to fill the gaps in existing data on the nutrient profiles of common fish in Bangladesh by analysing the proximate, vitamin, mineral and fatty acid composition of 55 fish, shrimp and prawn species from inland capture, aquaculture and marine capture fisheries.
People who are food and nutrition insecure largely reside in Asia and Sub-Saharan Africa and for many, fish represents a rich source of protein, micronutrients and essential fatty acids. The contribution of fish to household food and nutrition security depends upon availability, access and cultural and personal preferences. Access is largely determined by location, seasonality and price but at the individual level it also depends upon a person's physiological and health status and how fish is prepared, cooked and shared among household members.
Hunger and malnutrition are the world’s most devastating problems and are inextricably linked to poverty. A total of 842 million people in 2011-13, or around one in eight people in the world, were estimated to be suffering from chronic hunger, regularly not getting enough food to conduct an active life (FAO, IFAD and WFP 2013).