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STATE OF THE OCEANS

According to the latest edition of the United Nations Fisheries & Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2020 report, overfishing has increased from 33.1 percent in 2018 to 34.2 percent currently, resulting in approximately 90 percent of the world’s fish stocks now fully fished or overfished. This is coupled with the complexities of the ongoing pandemic, which despite not having directly affected any species of seafood, has had a catastrophic effect on fisheries and aquaculture food systems worldwide. More specifically, seafood supply chains from fishing and aquaculture production, to processing, transport, and wholesale and retail marketing are all bearing the brunt of Covid-19, resulting in complex sustainability issues.

Seafood remains highly sought after due to its health benefits, as it is an essential source of high-quality protein, micronutrients (selenium, iodine and zinc), and omega-3 fatty acids. As seafood is also low in calories, total fat and saturated fat, numerous studies have shown that a healthy weekly consumption of it can decrease the risk of heart attacks, strokes, obesity and hypertension. Completing the trilogy of benefits is the fact that these aquatic organisms also provide essential nutrients for developing infants and children, especially in low-income food-deficit countries (currently amassing to approximately one billion people), where diets are heavily reliant on fish for protein.

Bursting with so many health benefits, it’s no surprise that we have reached the point of

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