Nature’s superfood: 10 interesting facts on fish and nutrition

Are you hooked yet?

30 Sep 2015

Fish plays an important role in fighting hunger and malnutrition and is the main source of animal protein in many developing countries. Seafood is not only a source of proteins and healthy long-chain omega-3 fats, but also an essential source of other nutrients like iodine, vitamin D and calcium, which are crucial to living a healthy life.

Here are 10 interesting facts we have gathered for you on fish and seafood:

  • More than 3.1 billion people depend on fish for at least 20% of their total animal protein intake, and a further 1.3 billion people for 15% of animal protein intake.
  • Fish consumption has increased from 9 kg per capita in 1961 to approximately 20 kg per capita today and is expected to reach 21.5 kg by 2024.
  • The most caught species at global level is the Peruvian anchoveta  - a large percentage of which ends up as fishmeal and fish oil. It is followed by Alaska pollock, skipjack tunaAtlantic herring and chub mackerel.
  • Often undervalued parts of the fish, like the head, viscera, and back-bones make up 30-70% of fish and are especially high in micronutrients.
  • Seafood is in practice the only natural source of iodine. This crucial nutrient serves several purposes like aiding thyroid function. It is also essential for the neurodevelopment of children.
  • Tuna bones used for fish powder can enrich traditional diets like maize flower with omega-3 fatty acids, vitamins and minerals such as iron, zinc and calcium.
  • Gaining popularity in African countries like Uganda, seafood powders made from by-products or lake sardines provide missing nutrients to the primarily grain or starch-based diets of the region.
  • Seafood products are among the most widely traded food commodities – totaling around US$ 145 billion per year.
  • 35% of fish and seafood is lost or wasted – almost double the figures for losses for meat products.
  • 8% of fish caught globally is thrown back into the sea. In most cases they are dead, drying or badly damaged.

Between 8-9 October, 2015, we are celebrating the 20-year anniversary of the Code of Conduct for Responsible Fisheries in the Spanish port of Vigo! Tune into the event and share these interesting facts using the hashtag #Vigo15!


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