Australia's dietary guidelines and the environmental impact of food 'from paddock to plate'
Green, BS and Farmery, AK and Buxton, CD, Australia's dietary guidelines and the environmental impact of food 'from paddock to plate', Medical Journal of Australia, 7, (199) pp. 456. ISSN 1326-5377 (2013) [Letter or Note in Journal]
We agree that nutritious food choices should also be sustainable, but Selvey and Carey’s portrayal of seafood production1 is incorrect. The 2012 assessment of Aus-tralia’s fisheries found that only two of 49 species [Author: correct?] (4%) were overfished, rather than the 40% claimed by Selvey and Carey [Author: Selvey & Carey referred to 40% of "fish stocks" rather than species. As the 2012 report says that "150 stock status assessments were undertaken across 49 species chapters", would it be better to say that "only two of 150 fish stocks (1.3%) were overfished"? as only 111 stock status were determined it is more accurate to say "only two of the 111 stocks classified were overfished (1.8%)], and one of these (bluefin tuna) is rebuilding rapidly.2 Assuming 15 million Australians eat two 100 g portions of seafood every week, our annual [Author: OK? yes] seafood requirements are 156 000 tonnes from the 241 100 tonnes of current sustainable fishing and aquaculture production.
Globally, current fishing pressure is sustainable in 70% of world fish stocks.3 Demonising seafood based on discredited science claiming the world will run out of fish by 20484 does not help in making nutritious food choices. All food production has an environmental impact. We and others have applied the life-cycle analysis methods advocated by Selvey and Carey to several seafood industries. The amount of carbon dioxide produced by fisheries is lower than that from chicken, pork or beef production.5 Wild fisheries use little water and no fertilisers, pesticides or antibiotics,5,6 which makes seafood a healthy and sustainable choice for people and the environment.