Pelagic Picture #5 – Feeding the Future

Pelagic Fisheries

Pelagic Picture #5 – Feeding the Future: How small pelagic fish can contribute to global food security

Small pelagic fish like herring and mackerel play an essential role in today’s global food security. Unfortunately, the sustainable possibilities of pelagic fish are often overlooked. Pelagic fish already constitutes millions of healthy and nutritious meals a day, but has the potential to play an even much more important role in achieving food security.

Pelagic fish is incredibly healthy. This is because it contains high-quality proteins, vitamins and minerals, together with high levels of Omega-3 fatty acids. Among other things, this contributes to strong bones, lowered blood pressure and cholesterol, a healthy heart and promoting cognitive development. Therefore, it is not surprising that three pelagic fish species are in the top 10 of fish most recommended to eat.

It is scientifically proven that the health benefits of pelagic fish could help close malnutrition gaps, especially for young people and small children. As PFA, we are therefore proud that our members now provide around 5 million meals of fish every day especially in places around the world where there is the greatest need for healthy and affordable food.

One of the key advantages of small pelagics is their abundant nature and relatively fast reproductive cycles. This makes them a sustainable choice  (when managed effectively). The world population is rising rapidly, and by 2050 we will probably need to be able to feed 9 to 11 billion people.

In addition to other promising sustainable food, it’s important to recognise and embrace the significant role of small pelagic fish in feeding the future. We need to support the sustainable practices that help maintain a stable and nutritious food supply. Not just now, but tomorrow and for generations to come.


Find the overview of the entire Pelagic Picture series here.


Date Posted: 24th January 2024

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