Population Health

June 13, 2019

New study maps where surplus fish could help meet nutrition needs in vulnerable communities

Image of fish market signsA new University of Washington study funded by the Population Health Initiative has identified vulnerable communities on the West Coast where surplus fish could help meet nutritional needs.

An interdisciplinary research team of students, faculty and staff from the College of the Environment and the School of Public Health first mapped nutritionally vulnerable populations along the West Coast. By overlaying fisheries data, they were then able to pinpoint hot spots where large amounts of uncaught or unused fish could potentially be available.

The team also found, through interviews in coastal communities, that many individuals and institutions were unaware how to prepare fish. Similarly, connections needed to be built to connect communities with affordable seafood.

Through this research, the team concluded that stocks of West Coast groundfish have rebounded in recent decades thanks to careful management, meaning that extra fish could be harvested while remaining below levels that fisheries biologists say are sustainable.

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