This excerpt is from an EDFish blog piece posted on International Women’s Day (March 8). The blog was written by EDF’s Karly Kelso and BFA Core Team member Michelle Tigchelaar. Read the full blog here.
Three billion people depend on our oceans, rivers and lakes for nutritious blue foods. By 2050, our global population is expected to reach 10 billion and global demand for blue foods is expected to roughly double. Blue foods, including fish, shellfish and seaweeds, provide vital nutrients like protein, zinc, vitamin A and omega-3 fatty acids — nutrients important for all sexes and ages but especially for young children and pregnant and breastfeeding women. We must ensure that blue food systems are environmentally sustainable in a changing climate, that they can continue to nourish our global population, and that they contribute to thriving coastal communities and gender equality.
As we celebrate International Women’s Day, it’s important to recognize the immense importance of the contributions of women in coastal and fishing communities around the world, and it’s necessary to take steps to improve gender equity and empower women to lead in the blue economy.
2021: A banner year for blue foods
2021 elevated the importance of blue foods in global food system dialogues and ensured these foods got the attention they deserve. The first five Blue Food Assessment papers, which were published in various Nature journals, provided irrefutable evidence of the importance of blue foods. This body of work included deep dives into the nutritional contributions, environmental performance and climate risk of blue food systems, and it highlighted the importance of mobilizing stakeholders at the first United Nations Food Systems Summit, or UNFSS 2021. Convened by the United Nations Secretary-General, UNFSS 2021 sought to identify game-changing actions and solutions that can transform global food systems and help progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals.