Environmental Issues Not Considered When Analyzing Fish Consumption Guidelines.

An analysis in CMAJ expresses reservations about recommendations to raise fish consumption for health benefits. Dr. David Jenkins and his team, St. Michael’s Hospital, Toronto, say such advice may not consider environmental issues, and that further research to explain the benefits of omega-3 fatty acids is required. http://www.cmaj.ca/press/pg633.pdf.

Around the world, the medical community and health agencies praise fish consumption for health benefits. In developed countries, people have been advised to double or triple their fatty fish intake.

Evidence and unsuccessful studies in demonstrating a significant health benefit from omega-3 fatty acids have received little interest, suggesting that not all individuals do indeed benefit from fish consumption. This study examines the facts to prove the health benefits of fish.

The researchers explain that global fisheries are in serious crisis with the present fish consumption levels because demand outweighs supply. There are severe consequences for the food security of poorer countries and coastal communities, as diminishing stocks are redirected from local to affluent markets. Since the late 1980’s, global stocks have been declining and more than a hundred cases of marine extinctions have been reported.

“These trends imply the collapse of all commercially exploited stocks by mid-century,” the authors write. “Yet the dire status of fisheries resources is largely unrecognized by the public, who are both encouraged to eat more fish and are misled into believing we live in a sea of plenty.”

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