Our research will answer the following four questions:
- What is the current role of fish and other seafood in maintaining macro- and micro-nutrient nutrition for populations around the world?
- How will projected changes in global fish stocks affect human nutrition?
- Which populations have the greatest nutritional vulnerability to changes in the status of fisheries?
- Which marine conservation and fisheries management strategies would pay the largest health dividends at a variety of scales from local to global?
One of the centerpiece products of this effort will be an analytic framework and architecture that will allow decision makers to calculate the health implications of different marine management strategies at a variety of scales from local to global. To perform this work, we have assembled a highly respected group of specialists whose expertise ranges across several disciplines from climate modeling and fisheries ecology to resource/development economics and nutritional epidemiology. By modeling shifts in people’s diets based on changes in access to fish and seafood, (determined by supply, affordability and cultural preference) we can forecast per capita changes in fish consumption and calculate changes in the prevalence of risk for a variety of micronutrient deficiencies (i.e. iron, zinc, vitamin B12, omega-3 fatty acids). Using this modeling approach, we can estimate shifts in burdens of disease for particular populations associated with either increased or decreased access to seafood in the diet. Such estimates will allow decision makers to calculate, for the first time, the public health implications of their management decisions, creating policy tools that have the potential to revolutionize how we think about fisheries management, how we internalize health costs into marine and aquatic resource management, and how we improve food security in the Global South.