FAO highlights importance of Canadian aquaculture to global food security and hunger alleviation
OTTAWA, Nov. 19, 2013
New Study Shows Seafood Could Save 5,000 Lives Each Year
OTTAWA, Nov. 19, 2013 /CNW/ - A representative of the Food and
Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) today described
Canada's aquaculture industry as invaluable to future global food
security at the same time a new report highlighted that simply boosting
seafood consumption to levels recommended by Canada's Food Guide could
save thousands of lives each year.
The FAO's Árni Mathiesen told participants of the Canadian Aquaculture
Industry Alliance's annual meeting in Ottawa that, by 2050, the world's
population will rise to 9 billion, creating enormous pressure on global
food supplies. Increasing aquaculture output and productivity from
countries including Canada will be critical to meeting this challenge
and avoiding increasing rates of malnutrition.
"A significant increase in Canada's aquaculture productivity and
production would make a significant impact on global food supply,"
emphasized Mr. Mathiesen. "As an advanced and environmentally conscious
country, Canada also has a chance to lead the way: to disseminate the
knowledge, secure investments, and contribute significantly to
achieving our common goal of global food security."
This FAO message comes at the same time a new analysis paper, Farmed Seafood and Canadian Health: How Higher Seafood Consumption Can
Save Lives, released by Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) showed that a
recommended 30% increase in the average seafood intake by Canadians
would be a gain in both economic and health terms. Simply adhering to
Canada's Food Guide recommendations for fish consumption would
substantially reduce the rate of coronary disease.
"Seafood is a lifesaver - literally," said Ruth Salmon, executive
director of CAIA. "By simply increasing the amount of seafood Canadians
consume we achieve an enviable win-win of saving lives and increasing
economic benefits to the country."
According to Statistics Canada data, approximately 47,000 Canadians will
die from coronary disease in 2013. Based on recent academic and health
literature, the CAIA analysis demonstrates that the number of deaths in
Canada from coronary disease could be reduced by as much as 5,800 per
year if the Canada Food Guide's recommended level of seafood
consumption were achieved. This represents a potential benefit to
Canadian society of more than $40 billion per year.
"The health benefits of a diet that makes frequent use of seafood are
well documented, but output from traditional fisheries isn't enough,"
Given that approximately 50% of the seafood sold by Canadian retailers
originates from farmed sources, it is not surprising that aquaculture,
the farming of aquatic plants and animals, is contributing in an
important way to enhancing human health by supplying these essential
"Aquaculture is the only way to address the gap," said Salmon. "Canadian
seafood farmers are meeting market demands for fresh, local seafood.
Moreover, they're increasing the supply of fish and contributing to
lower seafood prices; ensuring that all Canadians have access to a
variety of affordable and nutritious seafood year-round.