Linking human nutrition and fisheries: Incorporating micronutrient-dense, small indigenous fish species in carp polyculture production in Bangladesh
Authors: Roos, Nanna; Wahab, Md. Abdul; Hossain, Mostafa Ali Reza; Thilsted, Shakuntala Haraksingh
Source: Food & Nutrition Bulletin, Volume 28, Supplement 2, June 2007 , pp. 280S-293S(14)
Abstract:Background. Fish and fisheries are important for the livelihoods, food, and income of the rural population in Bangladesh. Increased rice production and changing agricultural patterns have resulted in a large decline in inland fisheries. Implementation of carp pond polyculture has been very successful, whereas little focus has been given to the commonly consumed small indigenous fish species, some of which are rich in vitamin A and minerals, such as calcium, iron, and zinc, and are an integral part of the rural diet.
Objective. The overall objective of the research and capacity-building activities described in this paper is to increase the production, accessibility, and intake of nutrient-dense small indigenous fish species, in particular mola (Amblypharyngodon mola), in order to combat micronutrient deficiencies. The large contribution from small indigenous fish species to recommended intakes of vitamin A and calcium and the perception that mola is good for or protects the eyes have been well documented.
Methods. An integrated approach was conducted jointly by Bangladeshi and Danish institutions, linking human nutrition and fisheries. Activities included food-consumption surveys, laboratory analyses of commonly consumed fish species, production trials of carp–mola pond polyculture, teaching, training, and dissemination of the results.
Results. No decline in carp production and thus in income was found with the inclusion of mola, and increased intake of mola has the potential to combat micronutrient deficiencies. Teaching and training of graduates and field staff have led to increased awareness of the role of small indigenous fish species for good nutrition and resulted in the promotion of carp–mola pond polyculture and research in small indigenous fish species. The decline in accessibility, increase in price, and decrease in intake of small indigenous fish species by the rural poor, as well as the increased intake of silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), the most commonly cultured fish species, which is poor in micronutrients and not preferred for consumption, are being addressed, and some measures taken by inland fisheries management have been discussed.
Conclusions. The successful linking of human nutrition and fisheries to address micronutrient deficiencies has relevance for other countries with rich fisheries resources, such as Cambodia and countries in the Lake Victoria region of Africa.
Document Type: Research Article
Publication date: 2007-06-01
- Established in 1978, the Food and Nutrition Bulletin (FNB) is a peer-reviewed journal published quarterly by the Nevin Scrimshaw International Nutrition Foundation in association with the United Nations University. The focus of the journal is to highlight original scientific articles on nutrition research, policy analyses, and state-of-the-art summaries relating to multidisciplinary efforts to alleviate the problems of hunger and malnutrition in the developing world.
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