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Decline in seafood calls for diet change

Decline in seafood calls for diet change

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A four-year study by an international group of ecologists and economists published in the journal “Science” warns that the world will run out of seafood by 2048 if declines in marine species continue at their current rates.

The declines are due primarily to overfishing and pollution of coastal areas by waste from factory farms. The global economic impact is staggering.

The fishing industry generates $80 billion a year, 200 million people depend on it for income, and a billion rely on it for protein.

Decline in fish population is also associated with loss of marine biodiversity, blooms of potentially harmful algae, beach closures and coastal flooding.

As the world's human population grows exponentially, the only viable long-term solution is to rely increasingly on grains, legumes and nuts as our sources of protein.

Unlike fish and other marine organisms, these protein-rich foods do not mess up our fragile ecosystem, they are not laden with mercury, pesticides and nasty pathogens, they do not require refrigeration, and - they don't smell to high heaven.

Did I mention that this major global food policy decision starts with our next trip to the supermarket?

Braden Pellmett

Bloomington

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