Trade and foreign fishing mediate global marine nutrient supply

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Kirsty L. Nash, M. Aaron MacNeil, Julia L. Blanchard, Philippa J. Cohena, Anna K. Farmerya, N. A. J. Graham, Andrew L. Thorne-Lymanh, Reg A. Watson, Christina C. Hicks

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Nash, K.L. MacNeil, A., Blanchard, J.L. 2022. "Trade and foreign fishing mediate global marine nutrient supply." PNAS Sustainability Science 119, 1-11 (2022).


This article analyzes global catch, trade, and nutrient composition data for marine fisheries to quantify distribution patterns among countries with differing prevalence of inadequate nutrient intake. We find foreign fishing relocates 1.5 times more nutrients than international trade in fish. Analysis of nutrient flows among countries of different levels of nutrient intake shows fishing in foreign waters predominantly (but not exclusively) benefits nutrient-secure nations, an outcome amplified by trade. Next, the article develops a nutritional vulnerability framework that shows those small island developing states and/or African nations currently benefiting from trade and foreign fishing, and countries with low adaptive capacity, are most vulnerable to future changes in nutrient supplies.

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