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Report, 2023

Securing sustainable access to aquatic foods

Berkström, Charlotte; Eriksson, Hampus; Eggertsen, Maria; Koehler, Birgit; Norman Haldén, Anna


Global nutrition needs are increasing and aquatic foods have recently been identified as crucial in addressing many of the world’s urgent challenges, including hunger and malnutrition. This synthesis highlights the importance of aquatic foods as a source of protein, micronutrients and income, its potential to meet increasing food demands, as well as the challenges in aquatic food production and harvesting.

Most importantly, it provides an overview of management initiatives and innovative solutions for secured sustainable access to aquatic foods in the future. Aquatic foods provide micronutrient-rich foods for 3.3 billion people and support the livelihoods of more than 800 million people. Small-scale fisheries, in particular, play a key role in supporting the diversity and nutritional benefits of aquatic foods. However, the capture and production of aquatic foods is not always sustainable, and access to these foods may be unequal. At the water-land nexus, new ways of producing aquatic foods hold the potential to reduce the climate footprint in the food system.

The governance of, and investment in, aquatic food systems needs to aim to preserve, support and improve aquatic species diversity and to improve access to this highly nutritious food. These efforts need to include multiple stakeholders, such as fishers, community agencies, policy makers and researchers, and be firmly established in both the latest research and in a local/regional context - ecologically and socially. By incorporating different aspects of aquatic foods, this synthesis aims to inspire and inform the reader about the importance of these systems, and means for a sustainable way forward.

Published in

ISBN: 978-91-8046-848-0, eISBN: 978-91-8046-849-7
Publisher: SLU Global, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences