Over time, humans have used and abused the most important factor that sustains the life force; the earth. Ever since concepts of industrialization and urbanization have taken root, exploitation has reached its maximum.
Moreover, we have reached the point that the system’s entropy is visible in the forms of climate change and global warming.
Furthermore, rare species of animals, birds, fishes, and plants have gone extinct. Many more have become endangered. Nonetheless, humans have continued their practices for monetary and material gain.
However, many scientists and environmentalists have eventually concluded that it is crucial to reverse these damages.
The lockdown during the COVID era is the perfect example of the magnanimity of the influence of human practices on nature. When we were forced to stay indoors, animals, birds, and fishes finally got the chance to return to their homes.
The air quality improved, the lakes became clear, and wildlife enjoyed peacefully in its rightful home. It is time we find ways to help our environment sustain all forms of life.
Medical News Today talks about how we can play our part in preserving aquatic life while maintaining the nutritional benefits.
Health Benefits of Eating Fish
To maintain our health and prevent nutritional deficiencies, consuming a balanced diet is necessary. Each portion of food is rich in some form of minerals or nutrition. Therefore, leaving out any portion can lead to medical conditions.
One of the healthiest foods on the planet is fish, as it is rich in nutrients, including proteins and vitamin D. Moreover, fish is loaded with omega-3 fatty acids, which are very important in maintaining a healthy brain and body.
A few of the health benefits of fish consumption include:
- Reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke. The high levels of omega-3 fatty acids in fish help in sustaining heart health.
- Boosts brain health and reduces mental decline. People who consume fish daily have more gray matter in their brains.
- Rich with essential nutrients such as protein, iodine, omega-3 fatty acids, and some other minerals and nutrients
- It has minerals essential for developing, e.g., Omega-3 fatty acids; however, pregnant women are recommended to eat low-mercury fish.
- It has high levels of Vitamin D, making it an excellent dietary source of the vitamin.
- May reduce the risks of developing autoimmune diseases such as diabetes, type 1
- Lowers the risk of asthma in children
- Helps in preserving eyesight in old age
- Reduces inflammations and lowers the risk of arthritis
- Fatty fish may help improve sleep quality
- May decrease the risk of depression and other neurological disorders
Alternative Food Choices
Recently, many people have switched to plant-based food as their diet. The rise in environmental conscience and awareness of the impact of fishing are core reasons that people avoid eating fish.
Additionally, some people are allergic to fish or suffer from medical conditions which don’t allow them to eat fish. Furthermore, the high levels of plastic and mercury present in seafood have also become a health concern, impacting the human body.
A few foods that can provide high levels of omega-3 fatty acids and may be eaten as an alternative to fish are:
- Tofu fish
- Fishless fillets
- Vegetarian Walnut Burgers
- Soybean, rapeseed, flaxseed
- Green vegetables, including kale, spinach, and Brussel sprouts
- Jackfruit tuna
- Smoked carrot salmon
- Banana blossom fish
- Garbanzo beans
- Chicken teriyaki
- Fish flavor and sauces
Conservation of Aquatic Life
Human influence on nature has led to the enormous threat looming over wildlife. Factors, including overexploitation, over-hunting, habitat loss, are why aquatic life is suffering so much.
As a result of these factors, ecosystems, and species integral in maintaining life have disappeared alarmingly.
To preserve these life forms for future generations, it has become imperative to take immediate actions for aquatic life conservation. This conservation works by setting up sustainable development through the protection of biological resources.
It is essential to promote integrity practices by preventing endangerment and enhancing the recovery of threatened species.
The integral parts of such rehabilitations should be the five tasks as mentioned below:
- Management of habitat
- Maintenance and development of habitat
- Stocking native fish
- Non-native and sport fishing
- Management and monitoring of research data
One form of conservation that is gaining considerable popularity is conservation aquaculture. It involves fish farming endangered species in rehabilitation programs by increasing their population size.
Negative Impacts of Aquaculture
Fish farming is a task that needs vigilant regulation. However, in cases that this requirement goes unfulfilled, it imposes some adverse effects on the environment. Firstly, the problem lies in overfeeding the fish.
When these additional nutrients go unabsorbed by marine life, the aquatic ecosystem is forced to adapt to this pollution. Secondly, the expenditure on aquaculture is very high.
60% of the total production costs in commercial aquaculture account solely for feed. Thirdly, like all other animal production systems, there is a discharge of waste throughout the process of aquaculture as well.
However, the most influential side effect of a nutrient discharge in aquaculture is the development of algal blooms. These blooms are toxic to both animals and humans, impacting many aspects of their life.
Maintaining Health and Eating Fish Sustainably
Medical News Today discussed in detail the sustainability of fishes, important nutrients in them, and the possible alternative foods. Fish are important to provide nutrients that are involved in brain development during pregnancy.
However, all fish don’t contain the same level of beneficial nutrients. Cold-water fishes have more fat and, along with it, higher amounts of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids.
Nonetheless, it is essential to be careful when choosing the fish; you eat as cold water fishes also have a higher mercury level.
Moreover, it is advisable to keep rotating the type of fish you eat as they contain different forms of nutrients, all of which are important for the body. Furthermore, sustaining fish needs careful long-term management.
Small-scale fisheries have been observed to be more sustainable. However, alternates, such as aquaculture and fish farming, have problems and environmental concerns of their own.
Nonetheless, people who are concerned about the sustainability of fish can switch to plant-based alternatives.
The only way out of the environmental crisis that we face today is to take accountability for our actions that have negatively affected our environment and make all the possible efforts to reverse those damages.