Aquatic food security: insights into challenges and solutions from an analysis of interactions between fisheries, aquaculture, food safety, human health, fish and human welfare, economy and environment

Simon Jennings, Grant D. Stentiford, Ana M. Leocadio, Keith R Jeffery, Julian D Metcalfe, Ioanna Katsiadaki, Neil A. Auchterlonie, Stephen C. Mangi, John K. Pinnegar, Tim Ellis, Edmund J. Peeler, Tiziana Luisetti, Craig Baker-Austin, Mary Brown, Thomas L. Catchpole, Fiona J. Clyne, Stephen R. Dye, Nathan J. Edmonds, Kieran Hyder, Janette LeeDavid N. Lees, Owen C. Morgan, Carl M. O'Brien, Birgit Oidtmann, Paulette E. Posen, Ana Ribeiro Santos, Nick G. H. Taylor, Andrew D. Turner, Bryony L. Townhill, David W. Verner-Jeffreys

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Fisheries and aquaculture production, imports, exports and equitability of distribution determine the supply of aquatic food to people. Aquatic food security is achieved when a food supply is sufficient, safe, sustainable, shockproof and sound: sufficient, to meet needs and preferences of people; safe, to provide nutritional benefit while posing minimal health risks; sustainable, to provide food now and for future generations; shock-proof, to provide resilience to shocks in production systems and supply chains; and sound, to meet legal and ethical standards for welfare of animals, people and environment. Here, we present an integrated assessment of these elements of the aquatic food system in the United Kingdom, a system linked to dynamic global networks of producers, processors and markets. Our assessment addresses sufficiency of supply from aquaculture, fisheries and trade; safety of supply given biological, chemical and radiation hazards; social, economic and environmental sustainability of production systems and supply chains; system resilience to social, economic and environmental shocks; welfare of fish, people and environment; and the authenticity of food. Conventionally, these aspects of the food system are not assessed collectively, so information supporting our assessment is widely dispersed. Our assessment reveals trade-offs and challenges in the food system that are easily overlooked in sectoral analyses of fisheries, aquaculture, health, medicine, human and fish welfare, safety and environment. We highlight potential benefits of an integrated, systematic and ongoing process to assess security of the aquatic food system and to predict impacts of social, economic and environmental change on food supply and demand.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)893–938
JournalFish and Fisheries
Issue number4
Early online date11 Feb 2016
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2016


  • Ethics
  • food safety
  • food security
  • food system
  • health
  • sustainability

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