Canadian fish farming a “world lifesaver” Published: 16 December, 2013
A NEW study has highlighted the importance of Canada’s fish farming industry in helping to alleviate world hunger, claiming it could save over 5,000 lives a year.
It was made by a representative of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations who described Canadas aquaculture industry as invaluable to future global food security at the same time a new report highlighted that simply boosting seafood consumption to levels recommended by Canadas Food Guide could save thousands of lives each year.The FAOs Árni Mathiesen told participants of the Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliances annual meeting in Ottawa that, by 2050, the worlds population will rise to 9 billion, creating enormous pressure on global food supplies. Increasing aquaculture output and productivity from countries including Canada will be critical to meeting this challenge and avoiding increasing rates of malnutrition.A significant increase in Canadas aquaculture productivity and production would make a significant impact on global food supply, emphasized Mr. Mathiesen. As an advanced and environmentally conscious country, Canada also has a chance to lead the way: to disseminate the knowledge, secure investments, and contribute significantly to achieving our common goal of global food security.This FAO message comes at the same time a new analysis paper, Farmed Seafood and Canadian Health: How Higher Seafood Consumption Can Save Lives, released by Canadian Aquaculture Industry Alliance (CAIA) showed that a recommended 30% increase in the average seafood intake by Canadians would be a gain in both economic and health terms. Simply adhering to Canadas Food Guide recommendations for fish consumption would substantially reduce the rate of coronary disease.Seafood is a lifesaver – literally, said Ruth Salmon, executive director of CAIA. By simply increasing the amount of seafood Canadians consume we achieve an enviable win-win of saving lives and increasing economic benefits to the country. According to Statistics Canada data, approximately 47,000 Canadians will die from coronary disease in 2013. Based on recent academic and health literature, the CAIA analysis demonstrates that the number of deaths in Canada from coronary disease could be reduced by as much as 5,800 per year if the Canada Food Guides recommended level of seafood consumption were achieved. This represents a potential benefit to Canadian society of more than $40 billion per year.
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