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Filipinos eat less seafood

One study revealed that Filipino consumption of seafood has declined. It further indicated that poor families consumed the least. In the past, the price of seafood was lower or easily available to the poor families, but with less supply and more demand, seafood prices have increased.
The study showed that the quantity of fresh fish consumed increased as people become wealthy. As reported, the poorest Filipinos consumed at least 179.7 grams of fresh fish; the poor, 210.9 grams; middle income, 239.4 grams; the rich, 258.3 grams; and the richest, 287.1 grams.
The study conducted by the Department of Science and Technology-Food and Nutrition Institute (DoST-FNRI) and commissioned by fishers’ group Oceana showed that only 55.1 percent of households meet the recommended protein intake.
“Fish and seafoods are the main source of good quality protein for Filipinos, thus, availability and accessibility must be ensured. If the situation persists and left unattended, this may result in higher medical costs for the management of illnesses as a resultant factor of nutrient inadequacy,” DoST-FNRI Director Imelda Angeles-Agdeppa said.
Oceana Vice President Gloria Estenzo Ramos said that restoring the ocean could feed people a healthy seafood meal a day.
“Our fisheries support communities and, in fact, the Philippines ranks second in the world with a population highly dependent on healthy and vibrant oceans for nutrition, livelihood, and coastal protection. But we need to be vigilant in ensuring that the human-induced pressures on our ocean which caused an alarming decline of fish population, such as rampant illegal fishing in our municipal waters and continuing destruction of marine habitats, are stopped,” Ramos said.
The study found that fish from aquaculture like tilapia and bangus (milkfish) offer less nutrients such as protein and iron per serving compared to a diverse option of pelagic species like galunggong (round scad), matambaka (big-eyed scad) and tuna.”
“Let’s learn from some of our local government champions who have set the standards high for nutrition, wellness and ecological integrity as priority programs for their constituents,” Ramos said.

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