Nav: Home

Seafood consumption 15 times higher among Indigenous than non-Indigenous people

December 02, 2016

Coastal Indigenous people eat on average 15 times more seafood per person than non-Indigenous people in the same country, according to new research from the University of British Columbia. The findings highlight the need to consider food sovereignty and cultural identity as part of fisheries policy and Indigenous human rights.

In the first global-scale analysis of its kind, the study estimated that coastal Indigenous people consume 74 kilograms of seafood per capita, compared to the global average of 19 kilograms.

"This global database shows the scale and significance of seafood consumption by Indigenous people," said lead author Andrés Cisneros-Montemayor, program manager with the Nippon Foundation - UBC Nereus Program and research associate with the UBC Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. "For Indigenous people who are not recognized at the state level, this type of resource helps quantify the resources they depend on."

The authors collected observed data and worked with local researchers to build a database of more than 1,900 communities who altogether consume 2.1 million metric tonnes of seafood per year. The communities studied include recognized Indigenous groups, self-identified minority groups, and small island developing states. These groups all share similar histories of marginalization and deep social and cultural connections to marine environments.

"Having access to a global database that quantifies fish consumption specifically by coastal Indigenous peoples is a critical contribution to Indigenous struggle on a number of fronts," said Sherry Pictou, former Chief of L's?tkuk (Bear River First Nation) and member of the World Forum of Fisher Peoples Coordinating Committee. "Most significantly, the generation of information about the consumption of fish as food shows that food security and sovereignty must also be part of the conversation about Indigenous issues."

The ocean provides a vital source of food and economic security for these communities, while also shaping their cultural heritage and spiritual values for millennia. This new research highlights the reliance of indigenous communities on marine resources and the increasing vulnerability of these people due to climate and ecosystem changes.

"For a lot of these communities, the practice of fishing forms a link to their culture that defines them as a people. It's not just about eating fish, it's about maintaining an identity as a distinct culture," said co-author Yoshitaka Ota, Nippon Foundation - UBC Nereus program director of policy and research associate at UBC's Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries. "Not only must fish and ecosystems be protected, but also those lives and cultures that depend on the ocean."

The study "A global estimate of seafood consumption by coastal Indigenous peoples" was published in PLOS ONE.
-end-
About the Nippon Foundation - UBC Nereus Program

The Nereus Program, a collaboration between the Nippon Foundation and the University of British Columbia Institute for the Oceans and Fisheries, has engaged in innovative, interdisciplinary ocean research since its inception in 2011. The program is currently a global partnership of six leading marine science institutes with the aim of undertaking research that advances our comprehensive understandings of the global ocean systems across the natural and social sciences, from oceanography and marine ecology to fisheries economics and impacts on coastal communities. Visit nereusprogram.org for more information.

University of British Columbia

Related Fisheries Articles:

Invitation: Global warming to cause dramatic changes in fisheries
New research from scientists and economists at the University of California Santa Barbara, Oregon State University and Environmental Defense Fund identifies the dramatic future impacts of climate change on the world's fisheries and how fishing reforms are vital to sustaining the global seafood supply.
HKU and international researchers promote marine fisheries reform in China
A study highlighting the challenges and opportunities of fishery management in China has just been released in a perspective piece 'Opportunity for Marine Fisheries Reform in China' in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, USA, with the combined efforts of 18 international researchers all over the world, including an ecologist from the University of Hong Kong (HKU).
How China is poised for marine fisheries reform
China has introduced an unprecedented policy platform for stewarding its fisheries and other marine resources; in order to achieve a true paradigm shift a team of international scientists from within and outside of China recommend major institutional reform.
Profitable coral reef fisheries require light fishing
Fishing is fundamentally altering the food chain in coral reefs and putting dual pressures on the valuable top-level predatory fish, according to new research by the Wildlife Conservation Society, Lancaster University, and other organizations.
Investing in fisheries management improves fish populations
Research published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences suggests that successful fisheries management can be best achieved by implementing and enforcing science-based catch or effort limits.
Integrated approach vital for fisheries management
A comprehensive perspective on evolutionary and ecological processes is needed in order to understand and manage fisheries in a sustainable way.
Lake Tanganyika fisheries declining from global warming
The decrease in fishery productivity in Lake Tanganyika since the 1950s is a consequence of global warming rather than just overfishing, according to a new report from an international team led by a University of Arizona geoscientist.
Under-reporting of fisheries catches threatens Caribbean marine life
Marine fisheries catches have been drastically under-reported in the Turks and Caicos Islands in the Caribbean, threatening the marine environment and livelihoods of the local community, reveals a recent study published in the open-access journal Frontiers in Marine Science.
Organism responsible for paralytic shellfish poisoning may affect fisheries
New research by scientists at the University of Hawai'i at Mānoa School of Ocean and Earth Science and Technology suggests that ingestion of toxic dinoflagellate Alexandrium fundyense changes the energy balance and reproductive potential of Calanus finmarchicus in the North Atlantic, which is key food source for young fishes, including many commercially important species.
Inland fisheries determined to surface as food powerhouse
No longer satisfied to be washed out by epic seas and vast oceans, the world's lakes, rivers, streams, canals, reservoirs and other land-locked waters continue a push to be recognized -- and properly managed -- as a global food security powerhouse.

Related Fisheries Reading:

Best Science Podcasts 2019

We have hand picked the best science podcasts for 2019. Sit back and enjoy new science podcasts updated daily from your favorite science news services and scientists.
Now Playing: TED Radio Hour

Digital Manipulation
Technology has reshaped our lives in amazing ways. But at what cost? This hour, TED speakers reveal how what we see, read, believe — even how we vote — can be manipulated by the technology we use. Guests include journalist Carole Cadwalladr, consumer advocate Finn Myrstad, writer and marketing professor Scott Galloway, behavioral designer Nir Eyal, and computer graphics researcher Doug Roble.
Now Playing: Science for the People

#529 Do You Really Want to Find Out Who's Your Daddy?
At least some of you by now have probably spit into a tube and mailed it off to find out who your closest relatives are, where you might be from, and what terrible diseases might await you. But what exactly did you find out? And what did you give away? In this live panel at Awesome Con we bring in science writer Tina Saey to talk about all her DNA testing, and bioethicist Debra Mathews, to determine whether Tina should have done it at all. Related links: What FamilyTreeDNA sharing genetic data with police means for you Crime solvers embraced...