Reinforcing the diverse ways people access seafood can ensure healthy communities in the face of change

Indeed, the results showed that access to seafood markets was the key mechanism mediating seafood access in Kiribati, outpacing other drivers such as occupation, education, capital and technology.

“Market access is important for policy moving forward,” Eurich said. “Specifically, ensuring equitable access to markets is key.”

As they followed the seafood, the researchers noted a somewhat hidden pattern as well, something that would not have been obvious from a more conventional food system analysis.

“We were surprised to see that high seafood consumption households tended not to use formal markets and cash-based means and instead relied on home production and bartering for seafood acquisition,” Eurich said. 

While households in general used combinations of strategies to acquire seafood, the highest seafood consumers tended to use the market the least. These populations included giftees in urban areas, pointing to the social, non-market aspect of seafood acquisition, as well as members of the community that did their own fishing and gleaning and also used the catch to trade, bypassing the market. The high consumers that used the market the most belonged in the smallest group, consisting of wealthy, affluent and urban households

“From a policy perspective, promoting social networks through things like fisher groups or cooperatives could reinforce healthy seafood diets in addition to the commonly proposed food system interventions, including addressing supply chain inefficiencies,” Eurich said.

The results of the study also revealed a distinct pattern of consumption — different households ate different seafoods. “This means that household strategies are not only important in shaping the overall consumptive benefit a household gets from seafood,” Seto said, “but also the potential environment, food security and nutritional implications, as all seafoods are not the same.” 

Related Posts