Blue foods can help India improve nutrition, livelihood: Study

Source: The post is based on the article “Blue foods can help India improve nutrition, livelihood: Study” published in Indian Express on 27th February 2023

What is the News?

According to a study, blue food can reduce nutritional deficiencies and contribute to employment and export revenue in India.

What is Blue Food?

Blue food is a food derived from aquatic animals, plants or algae that are caught or cultivated in freshwater and marine environments.

Importance of Blue Food: Blue food generates lower emissions compared to terrestrial meat and can also be used to address vitamin B12 and omega-3 deficiencies. 

– Blue food over red meat overconsumption could reduce cardiovascular diseases. 

– Additionally, blue foods have revenue potential for the global south and indigenous communities in the global north.

What are the issues faced by Blue Food?

Firstly, Bycatch is a significant challenge. It refers to the accidental capture of non-target species in fishing nets, which can lead to the death of these animals.

Secondly, the presence of pollutants such as heavy metals, PCBs and microplastics in the ocean can affect the quality and safety of seafood.

Thirdly, mislabeling and fraud also pose risks to consumers with cheaper fish sometimes sold as more expensive varieties, potentially leading to health problems. 

Fourthly, according to the World Bank, almost 90% of global marine fish stocks are now fully exploited or overfished.

What are the suggestions given by the study?

Governments, NGOs, and the private sector should work together to increase awareness about the benefits of blue food and its potential to address malnutrition, poverty, and environmental degradation.

Fishing practices that are unsustainable, such as overfishing, destructive fishing methods, and bycatch, need to be addressed to ensure that fish stocks are not depleted and the marine ecosystem is protected.

Governments can encourage the development of sustainable aquaculture practices by providing technical assistance, training, and incentives. 

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