UK shortage of fish 'stops poor from eating healthily'
Declining global fish stocks mean too few fish are caught to meet the minimum recommended levels of consumption for good health, a major study has shown. It also calls on the Government to consider the wider implications of promoting greater fish consumption.
The health benefits of seafood are clear: fish protein is low in saturated fats and high in nutrients and essential fatty acids as well as being rich in calcium, zinc and selenium.
In the UK there has been a long-established policy recommending that everyone should eat on average two portions of seafood a week, amounting to 280g per person.
However, the new report shows that, even accounting for imports and farmed seafood, the UK fails to import, catch or produce enough fish or shellfish for the whole population to eat the recommended two portions a week. It can only provide 179g per person, less than two-thirds of the recommended level.
The paper, published in the journal Marine Pollution Bulletin, found that for only 10 of the past 124 years has there been enough seafood to meet minimum health standards. The late 1940s was the last time supplies were adequate to provide 280g for everyone each week.