Thank you to Júlia Muñoz Martínez for staring this cluster!
|Summary of key points in this cluster:
|– Blue foods are more than fish.
The aquatic ecosystem include much more than just fish such as crustaceans, cephalopods, molluscs, plants, algae, mammals and insects.
– Blue foods are an important source of valuable nutrients considered essential in the pursuit of the sustainable development goals.
In many regions communities depend nutritionally and economically on aquatic foods. Blue foods are usually estimated to have a carbon footprint better than most terrestrial animals, often around the level of chicken, and sometimes even lower.
– The livelihoods of many communities depend on aquatic system outputs…
…however, the high pressure big firms are putting on the seafood market is threating the wellbeing of these communities.
– The aquatic food system is being threaten by climate change aftermaths and other hazards.
Ocean warming, acidification, cyclones, and water pollution are negatively affecting the productivity from fisheries and aquacultures.
– By 2050, bluefood demand is expected to double due to population and income growth.
To cope with this increase is paramount to improve farming and wild-catching techniques to be less resource dependent, approach to emissions neutrality and respect the marine ecosystem.
– Dietitians can help the population to make sustainable choices on blue food. To do so, some key messages are:
1) Ensure the diversity of the seafood consumed, data shows that we tend to uptake a narrow variety of species.
2) Choose seafood lower on the food chain such as mussels or anchovies.
3) Check for labels that ensure seafood has been fished sustainably such as MSC (Marine Stewardship Council) or ASC (Aquaculture Stewardship Council)
4) If possible, consume local seafood. Sometimes, this does not mean that foods will be more environmentally friendly, but likely to support local farmers.
Resources in the ICDA SFS Toolkit:
🌀 Organizations, projects and collaborations:
- Blue Food Assessment: it is an international collaboration that gather the expertise from more than 100 scientists and over 25 institutions to assess the evidence on aquatic food systems and assist decision makers in making informed choices regarding opportunities, trade-offs, and the implementation of solutions that can promote the development of healthy equitable, and sustainable food systems.
- Seafood tomorrow (2021): European project that aims at creating innovative and sustainable solutions for improving the safety and dietary properties of seafood in Europe. Access a booklet that summarised their Eco-Innovative Solutions and Key Exploitable Results.
- Marine Conservation Society: Good Fish Guide: Assess the environmental impact of seafoods consumed in the UK. Indicators used to assess the sustainability of farm fish are feed used, environmental impacts and interactions, fish welfare, regulation, and management. Concerning wild-caught seafood they assess stock status, management, and capture method (which may affect habitat, bycatching, and vulnerable species).
- FishChoice Calculator: Resource developed for the EU under the H2020 project ‘SEAFOOD Tomorrow’ that provides personal fish calculator for an overview of the nutritional content of the fish consumed weekly, its potential contaminants, and its sustainability along with links to sources.
- Aquatic Foods Toolkit (2023): A World of Aquatic Foods Resources: Open-access resources designed to empower chefs, foodservice, consumer packaged goods entrepreneurs, healthcare professionals, and other aquatic food advocates in promoting bivalves and sea vegetables. Free, open-access toolkits, packed with evidence-based resources, eater insights, tested messaging, nutritional guidance, and inspiring recipes. Access to an interactive Aquatic Foods Ecosystem Map, so you can connect with others creating impact through sea vegetables and bivalves.
- Blue Foods as Medicine (2023 Oct): A FREE, interactive, four-module online curriculum for health and nutrition professionals and students. The modules are 1: Blue Foods Foundation, 2: Sea Vegetables, 3: Bivalves, Clams, Oysters, Mussels; and 4: Integrating into Your Practice. Funded by Builders Initiative and created by Food for Climate League and Food + Planet.
🐳 Certification Organizations:
- Marine Stewardship Council (MSC): The MSC is a third party organization that assesses population wellbeing, impact on marine environment and management of fisheries around the world. Its aim is to facilitate consumers identify seafood that has been caught through techniques respectful with the environment, conservation, and biodiversity.
- Aquaculture Stewardship Council (ASC): The ASC is a third party organization that certifies farmed seafood has been produced respectfully with the environment and in a just way. To achieve this, they use some of the following indicators: water quality, responsible sourcing of feed, disease prevention, animal welfare, the fair treatment and pay of workers and maintaining positive relationships with neighbouring communities.
- Seaweed’s contribution to food security in low- and middle-income countries: Benefits from production, processing and trade (2023 Jun): One proposed solution has been to focus more on water-based food systems in general (often referred to as ‘blue foods’), and on seaweed in particular. But how realistic are such propositions? This paper explores the potential of seaweed to address food insecurity and poor nutrition in LMICs, alongside its potential to mitigate the carbon footprint of food systems globally.
- Four ways blue foods help achieve food system ambitions across nations (2023): This document provides a country specific assessment of how seafoods can improve global challenges at local and international level through 4 policy objectives.
- The vital roles of blue foods in the global food system (2022): Provides an overview of the potentialities seafood have in reshaping current food systems and promoting global food security.
- Assessing seafood nutritional diversity together with climate impacts informs more comprehensive dietary advice (2022): This article can help dietitians identify nutritious seafoods with low environmental impact in comparison with commonly consumed terrestrial animal.
- Compound climate risks threaten aquatic food systems benefits (2021): Authors propose a framework that helps to comprehensively identify climate risks associated with aquatic food systems. They identify four main climate risk profiles and explain challenges and opportunities that will help build a resilient aquatic food system.
- Aquatic foods to nourish nations (2021): Provides an overview of the nutritional benefits from aquatic foods in comparison with commonly consumed terrestrial animals and highlights the socioeconomic benefits from increasing its production. Additionally, they provide four policy recommendations to aid governments building resilient aquatic food systems that ensure food security.
- Blue Foods: How Sea Vegetable & Bivalves Can Help You and Our Planet (2023 Oct): The non-profit Food + Planet and the Culinary Nutrition Collaborative co-hosted a webinar on aquatic foods (AKA blue foods) and how they are beneficial for us and our planet.
- Dive into the Power of Blue Foods as Medicine (2023 Sep): This Food + Planet webinar gives participants an action-oriented understanding of the definition, nutritional significance, and sustainability of blue foods (with an emphasis on bivalves and sea vegetables) and shares an overview of how these foods can be integrated into a “Food as Medicine” approach in a variety of settings.
🌐 Case study:
- Red-Listed Seafood: Removing Red-Listed Seafood in Acadia University’s Wheelock Dining Hall – Acadia University has worked with their Food Service Provider to prioritize healthy and sustainable food on campus. In 2018, they released the Acadia Food Plan, which includes measurable targets to achieve these priorities. This includes a target to serve sustainable seafood (e.g., Marine Stewardship Council (MSC) certified) and to not serve any seafood that has been “Red-Listed” (unsustainable) by Ocean Wise.
This Hot Topic Resource Cluster was developed: 2023 April 7, updated Nov 1
Feedback? Questions? Ideas? Contact the ICDA SFS Coordinator: ICDAsfs.firstname.lastname@example.org