Using Household Dynamics to Determine the Role of Inland Fish in Local Food Security

Using Household Dynamics to Determine the Role of Inland Fish in Local Food Security

So-Jung Youn, William W. Taylor, T. Douglas Beard Jr., Robin Welcomme

Inland fish and fisheries play an important role in ensuring food and economic security throughout the world. Freshwater fish production is especially important in the developing world, where they provide a critical source of animal protein, essential micronutrients, and livelihoods for local communities. Despite their importance to food security at a local and regional level, inland fisheries face many threats due to competing uses for freshwater resources. Data concerning the importance of inland fisheries production and consumption are generally poor, often leading to the undervaluation of the importance of inland fisheries as a source of food and wellbeing by many policymakers. Tradeoffs with alternative freshwater uses, particularly irrigation, hydropower and municipal use, can have a negative impact to food security, health, and societal well-being. One way to obtain more accurate estimates of inland fish production is through the use of household dynamics, which evaluate the underlying structure and nature of changes in households. As such, these studies can quantify the nutritional and food importance of inland fisheries by providing insight into who is consuming fish, how much, and how often. This consumption data can then provide an estimate of inland fisheries production for the area. Better estimates of inland fisheries production could potentially increase the reported inland fisheries production value by nine-hold, based on previous studies, thus allowing for a more accurate assessment of societal impacts of alterations in land- and water-scapes, aiding decision-making regarding the impact of such alterations on inland fisheries and consequently local food security.

shadow