UN's 7-point plan to save Pacific fish

A NEW report from the UN's Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) says immediate action is needed to prioritise sustainable diets and safeguard fish and other aquatic species in the Pacific Ocean.
UN's 7-point plan to save Pacific fish UN's 7-point plan to save Pacific fish UN's 7-point plan to save Pacific fish UN's 7-point plan to save Pacific fish UN's 7-point plan to save Pacific fish

Staff Reporter

It offers a seven-point plan to remedy the situation.
1. Safeguard fish and other aquatic foods for sustainable healthy diets: Recognise fish and other aquatic species not only as a biodiversity asset and a critical economic commodity, but also as integral to Pacific Island food and nutrition security.
2. Invest in multisectoral collaborations for nutrition: Integrate activities, policies and actions related to fish, other aquatic foods and fisheries within wider nutrition, health and food system initiatives. This can be supported by convening intersectoral working groups and dialogues that span all levels of society and different sectors, specifically water, agriculture, fisheries, forestry, health and trade.
3. Protect aquatic ecosystems to ensure a continuous supply of biodiverse fish and other aquatic foods for diets: When resources are managed sustainably and remain accessible for human consumption, aquatic ecosystems and natural resources provide the foundation for a healthy and resilient food system for Pacific Island nations - now and into the future.
4. Raise awareness of the nutritional and health benefits of eating fish and other aquatic foods: Employ both targeted and mainstreamed awareness raising, within education and health information provision, to improve knowledge on the nutritional qualities and health benefits of eating fish and other aquatic foods as part of an overall healthy diet.
5. Design nutrition-sensitive strategies that serve women and children during the first 1000 days of life: Although fish consumption is on average high in Pacific Island nations, many women, children, and people living further inland do not eat enough fish and are deficient in the nutrients that fish contain, such as omega-3 fatty acids, vitamin A, iron, zinc and calcium. Awareness, education and behaviour change (e.g., purchasing, consumption, preparation) are needed to help ensure that all women and children are sufficiently well nourished and eating the portion sizes required to meet their nutrient needs.
6. Develop and deliver food preservation techniques appropriate for fish and other aquatic foods to fill seasonal, economic and geographic shortfalls: Establish or improve preparation and preservation techniques and promote the development of new culturally and socially acceptable fish-based products. Together, these two measures will increase affordability, reduce loss and waste, improve product safety and lengthen shelf life, which can help extend supply chains to inland populations or fill seasonal shortfalls.
7. Strengthen trade and supply chains toward nutrition outcomes: Evaluate the inward gains and outward losses of nutrients that result from importing and exporting fish, aquatic foods and other foods. This evaluation could inform shifts in the governance of fisheries and food trade toward supply chain configurations that retain foods with the rich nutrient profiles within the region, and toward people experiencing nutritional vulnerability that Pacific Islanders need. Governments continue to generate income from fisheries access agreements and fish exports, such as through export taxes or rent acquired from high-seas tuna licence fees - there are substantial opportunities to establish and refine distributive mechanisms that better direct public funds toward upstream determinants of health that support nutrition outcomes.
The full report may be found at this address: https://tinyurl.com/57synz6m


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