Climate change and overfishing threaten food security in poorer countries: research
Toronto-A new study finds that the effects of climate change combined with overfishing pose an increasing threat to food security, especially in poorer countries.
The International Research Group on Tuesday Journal of Contemporary Biology, Analyzed more than 800 species of fish in 157 countries/regions.
For billions of people around the world, fish is an important source of micronutrients such as iron, zinc, vitamin A and omega 3. But the parts of the world that depend on fish to feed the population are disappearing.
Aaron McNeill, a professor of biology at Dalhousie University in Halifax and one of the co-authors of the study, said some of them are related to foreign fishing boats that sell their catch elsewhere.
“European ships come to West Africa to fish [the fish] Back to Europe,” McNeil told CTV National News.
But for tropical countries, climate change poses a greater threat, with fish populations fleeing too warm waters, chasing food or seeking cooler climates. Researchers have found that fish populations in tropical regions such as Southeast Asia and sub-Saharan Africa are much less adaptable to climate change than fish in more northern climates.
“The overfishing problem and the climate change problem are not isolated. They are now interrelated and interrelated in many different ways,” the study’s co-author William Zhang, a professor at the Institute of Oceans and Fisheries at the University of British Columbia, told CTV National News.
These tropical countries account for 40% of all coastal countries, and they happen to be the places where fish resources are most needed. Tropical fish tend to have a higher density of micronutrients. However, the rates of undernourishment in the populations of these countries are also often higher.
“In the tropics, what we are seeing is the reduction of really key nutrients, such as zinc and iron, and vitamin A, which are really important to human health,” McNeill said.
Researchers say that there are some nutrient-rich species that are more resilient to climate change and overfishing, but they are currently under-represented in catches. Some countries may be able to adjust their fisheries to target these species. However, the researchers pointed out that low-income countries will have a harder time making such adjustments.
“The people who have made the least contribution to climate change are also tropical low-income countries, and the nutrients of fish are expected to decrease in the future,” McNeill said.