Climate crisis may destroy aquatic food systems — and livelihoods, economies

What is the news? 

As per recent study published in Nature Food, Climate change can destroy the marine and freshwater systems of Africa, South and Southeast Asia and Indo Pacific. This may destroy livelihoods and economies of countries in the regions, if appropriate measures are not taken in time to mitigate the crisis. 

What are the findings of the report? 

First, India, along with other South Asian countries, is at a ‘high’ risk to its aquatic food systems under a high-emissions, no-mitigation scenario. 

Second, countries with high climate vulnerability may face risk in the food system outcomes, either in marine fisheries or in freshwater and deltaic fisheries and aquaculture.  

Third, with a larger magnitude of warming on large continental land masses than in the ocean, freshwater fisheries in some countries are projected to face ‘very high’ hazards by the mid-twenty-first century, especially in water-stressed areas such as northern Africa and the Middle East.

In terms of nutrition this equates to a reduction in aquatic food access and limit essential nutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin B12 and omega-3 fatty acids leading to nutrients deficiency. 

What are the recommendations? 

First, there is urgent need to support the long-term sustainability, resilience, and equity of aquatic food systems.  

Second, we need to reduce actual climate hazards, greenhouse gas emissions reductions. 

Third, we need farming climate-tolerant species with reduced feed dependence and building barriers and restoring coastal ecosystems to protect against storms.  

Fourth, reducing dependence on climate-sensitive aquatic foods and sectors and vulnerability through investments that benefit human development irrespective of climate change. 

Source: This post is based on the article “Climate crisis may destroy aquatic food systems — and livelihoods, economies” published in the Down to Earth on 17th September 2021. 

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