Globally, we still catch enough fish to eat – just about. But numbers of fish caught from the sea haven’t kept up with human population growth and unsustainable fish farms have filled the gap. So why are we still being encouraged to eat more fish?
The health benefits are clear: fish protein is typically low in saturated fats and high in nutrients and essential fatty acids. UK and US food standards agencies recommend eating two portions of fish per week, while Australia, New Zealand and Estonia advocate two or three servings per week and Greece five or six.
Yet as our recent research has shown these health recommendations must be set against a backdrop of declining global fish stocks and food security concerns. While in the UK fish constitutes just one choice of animal protein among many, one billion people throughout the world rely upon it as their primary source of animal protein and our global fisheries are in crisis.