The United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA) confirmed in their latest report that fish farming could be the solution to the malnutrition of people in developing countries in the coming decade. There has been a major decline in fishing stocks throughout the world due to the demands of the market. Overfishing is when more fish are caught than are replaced through natural production. This occurs because most fishers only care about profit, not the environmental and socio-economic impacts. This is negatively impacting the coastal communities of small island nations, as well as countries along the coasts of Africa and Asia.
According to FAO, in 2012, thirty percent of fish stocks are overexploited and around fifty-seven percent of fish stocks are completely exploited. The report that FAO released suggests that an “increased investment in the global aquaculture sector” could “boost farmed-fish production, especially in Africa and in Asia, by more than four per cent through 2022, as producers focus more intently on productivity-enhancing technologies such as water use, breeding, hatchery practices and feedstuff innovation.” The idea is that there are better technologies available for fishing than what is currently being used by developing nations. Therefore, if people invested in aquaculture there could be a great increase in the number of fish farms throughout the world.
This would be beneficial to not only the environment, but also the millions of malnourished people throughout the world. Fish provide a great source of protein. Currently, there are millions of children throughout Asian and African countries that are suffering from mineral and vitamin deficiencies. If the number of fish farms increased throughout the world it would be a step towards not only helping to stabilize the aquatic environment, but it would also help to decrease the amount of malnutrition in developing countries.
Do you think that the FAO’s suggestions are viable ones? Do you think that the United Nations should somehow step in to enforce changes within aquaculture? Perhaps the U.N. should require major commercial fishers to become involved in restoration practices in relation to the amount of catch they bring in each year. What other ways could the U.N. try to increase fish populations in order to ensure that people in developing nations don’t continue to lack the proper means of nutrition to survive?
Photo: Modern Farmer