Aquaculture has the potential to deliver diverse benefits to low- and middle-income countries. It can enhance the quality of diets and the health of populations through improved nutrition. It provides considerable employment through its value chain, accounting for 20.5 million jobs globally in 2018. For countries in Asia, for example, it can provide a major source of exports to high-income countries. And if implemented and managed sustainably, it provides an alternative to captured fish, thereby reducing pressure on capture fisheries under threat from overfishing and climate change.
However, despite many opportunities presented, aquaculture, together with capture fisheries, is too often sidelined in policies and dialogues relating to nutrition and food systems. These tend to focus much more on land-based food production. Over the next decade, as food systems strive to meet the demands of a growing world population, policy makers need to take much greater account of the aquatic dimension in their food-system policies and strategies.
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