Research Nugget

The Potential of Fish to Improve Food and Nutrition Security in Sub-Saharan Africa

With high levels of malnutrition and hunger among the population of sub-Saharan Africa, fish can play a crucial role in improving food and nutrition in the region and needs to be encouraged in human diets. This is according to research, partly funded by the National Research Foundation, which looked at the role of fish and the whole fisheries sector towards securing food and nutrition security in sub-Saharan Africa.

The study found that fisheries have great potential to contribute to the food and nutrition security status of sub-Saharan Africa through the provision of a rich and cheap source of animal protein and valuable micronutrients such as zinc, iodine, calcium, and vitamins, particularly for the most vulnerable and poor population.

As a main or only source of protein for more than 30% of the people in the region, fish should be recognised as food rather than only a natural resource. By so doing, policies can be shifted towards more integrated perspectives, which take into consideration how ‘fish for food’ can be produced, distributed, and consumed in the region.

The full paper has been published in the journal Sustainability and can be accessed here.