The role of aquatic foods in sustainable healthy diets

WashU affiliated researchers: Mary Kate Cartmill (Brown School)

Published by UN Nutrition


This discussion paper aims to build consensus on the role of aquatic foods in sustainable healthy diets, presenting the breadth of evidence available to inform and steer policy, investments and research to make full use of the vast potential of aquatic foods in delivering sustainable healthy diets and meeting the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Many references in this paper focus on finfish and highlight examples of other aquatic animals and aquatic plants for which evidence exists, as most studies and data on aquatic foods focus on the production or conservation of few economically valuable finfish species rather than the broader nutritional value of the diversity of foods derived from aquatic resources.

Increased attention on aquatic foods is beneficial and badly needed. This paper will be accompanied by another paper on the role of livestock-derived foods (such as meat, dairy and eggs). Together, the papers aim to highlight the role of a diverse range of animal-source foods and aquatic plants, such as seaweed, in sustainable healthy diets.