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What if fishery management targeted nutrition—not just markets?

Some of the highest rates of malnutrition are found in coastal nations with the most nutrient-rich fisheries, according to a new Nature study. Developing more equitable and efficient fisheries to plug this nutrition gap would not only remedy widespread food insecurity, but could also benefit the environment.

These findings, produced by an international team of scientists, showed that 50% of coastal countries—mainly in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Pacific—have moderate to severe nutrient deficiency. Yet these nations also have fisheries that produce more than enough nutrients to feed all their children under five, the most nutritionally-vulnerable population. For several of those at-risk countries, regional fisheries could actually exceed the nutrient needs of people living within 100 kilometers of the coast, the researchers discovered.