The ubiquity of anthropogenic debris in hundreds of species of wildlife and the toxicity of chemicals associated with it has begun to raise concerns regarding the presence of anthropogenic debris in seafood. We assessed the presence of anthropogenic debris in fishes and shellfish on sale for human consumption. We sampled from markets in Makassar, Indonesia, and from California, USA. All fish and shellfish were identified to species where possible. Anthropogenic debris was extracted from the digestive tracts of fish and whole shellfish using a 10% KOH solution and quantified under a dissecting microscope. In Indonesia, anthropogenic debris was found in 28% of individual fish and in 55% of all species. Similarly, in the USA, anthropogenic debris was found in 25% of individual fish and in 67% of all species. Anthropogenic debris was also found in 33% of individual shellfish sampled. All of the anthropogenic debris recovered from fish in Indonesia was plastic, whereas anthropogenic debris recovered from fish in the USA was primarily fibers. Variations in debris types likely reflect different sources and waste management strategies between countries. We report some of the first findings of plastic debris in fishes directly sold for human consumption raising concerns regarding human health.
Lobster and cod benefit from small-scale northern marine protected areas: inference from an empirical before-after control-impact study
- Proceedings. Biological sciences / The Royal Society
- Published almost 8 years ago
Marine protected areas (MPAs) are increasingly implemented as tools to conserve and manage fisheries and target species. Because there are opportunity costs to conservation, there is a need for science-based assessment of MPAs. Here, we present one of the northernmost documentations of MPA effects to date, demonstrated by a replicated before-after control-impact (BACI) approach. In 2006, MPAs were implemented along the Norwegian Skagerrak coast offering complete protection to shellfish and partial protection to fish. By 2010, European lobster (Homarus gammarus) catch-per-unit-effort (CPUE) had increased by 245 per cent in MPAs, whereas CPUE in control areas had increased by 87 per cent. Mean size of lobsters increased by 13 per cent in MPAs, whereas increase in control areas was negligible. Furthermore, MPA-responses and population development in control areas varied significantly among regions. This illustrates the importance of a replicated BACI design for reaching robust conclusions and management decisions. Partial protection of Atlantic cod (Gadus morhua) was followed by an increase in population density and body size compared with control areas. By 2010, MPA cod were on average 5 cm longer than in any of the control areas. MPAs can be useful management tools in rebuilding and conserving portions of depleted lobster populations in northern temperate waters, and even for a mobile temperate fish species such as the Atlantic cod.
- Environmental health : a global access science source
- Published almost 8 years ago
In their new paper, Bellanger and coauthors show substantial economic impacts to the EU from neurocognitive impairment associated with methylmercury (MeHg) exposures. The main source of MeHg exposure is seafood consumption, including many marine species harvested from the global oceans. Fish, birds and other wildlife are also susceptible to the impacts of MeHg and already exceed toxicological thresholds in vulnerable regions like the Arctic. Most future emissions scenarios project a growth or stabilization of anthropogenic mercury releases relative to present-day levels. At these emissions levels, inputs of mercury to ecosystems are expected to increase substantially in the future, in part due to growth in the legacy reservoirs of mercury in oceanic and terrestrial ecosystems. Seawater mercury concentration trajectories in areas such as the North Pacific Ocean that supply large quantities of marine fish to the global seafood market are projected to increase by more than 50% by 2050. Fish mercury levels and subsequent human and biological exposures are likely to also increase because production of MeHg in ocean ecosystems is driven by the supply of available inorganic mercury, among other factors. Analyses that only consider changes in primary anthropogenic emissions are likely to underestimate the severity of future deposition and concentration increases associated with growth in mercury reservoirs in the land and ocean. We therefore recommend that future policy analyses consider the fully coupled interactions among short and long-lived reservoirs of mercury in the atmosphere, ocean, and terrestrial ecosystems. Aggressive anthropogenic emission reductions are needed to reduce MeHg exposures and associated health impacts on humans and wildlife and protect the integrity of one of the last wild-food sources globally. In the near-term, public health advice on safe fish consumption choices such as smaller species, younger fish, and harvests from relatively unpolluted ecosystems is needed to minimize exposure risks.
While food pricing is a promising strategy to improve diet, the prospective impact of food pricing on diet has not been systematically quantified.
Recent population dietary studies indicate that diets rich in ultra-processed foods, increasingly frequent worldwide, are grossly nutritionally unbalanced, suggesting that the dietary contribution of these foods largely determines the overall nutritional quality of contemporaneous diets. Yet, these studies have focused on individual nutrients (one at a time) rather than the overall nutritional quality of the diets. Here we investigate the relationship between the energy contribution of ultra-processed foods in the US diet and its content of critical nutrients, individually and overall.
Anti-androgenic phthalates are reproductive toxicants that may have additive effects on male development. Diet is the primary exposure source for most phthalates, which contaminate the food supply through food contact materials and industrialized production.
Organophosphate pesticide (OP) exposure to the US population is dominated by dietary intake. The magnitude of exposure from diet depends partly upon personal decisions such as which foods to eat and whether to choose organic food. Most studies of OP exposure rely on urinary biomarkers, which are limited by short half-lives and often lack specificity to parent compounds. A reliable means of estimating long-term dietary exposure to individual OPs is needed to assess the potential relationship with adverse health effects.
The dietary pattern that characterizes the Western diet is strongly associated with obesity and related metabolic diseases, but biological mechanisms supporting these associations remain largely unknown. We argue that the Western diet promotes inflammation that arises from both structural and behavioral changes in the resident microbiome. The environment created in the gut by ultra-processed foods, a hallmark of the Western diet, is an evolutionarily unique selection ground for microbes that can promote diverse forms of inflammatory disease. Recognizing the importance of the microbiome in the development of diet-related disease has implications for future research, public dietary advice as well as food production practices. Research into food patterns suggests that whole foods are a common denominator of diets associated with a low level of diet-related disease. Hence, by studying how ultra-processing changes the properties of whole foods and how these foods affect the gut microbiome, more useful dietary guidelines can be made. Innovations in food production should be focusing on enabling health in the super-organism of man and microbe, and stronger regulation of potentially hazardous components of food products is warranted.
The proportion of US food that is imported is increasing; most seafood and half of fruits are imported. We identified a small but increasing number of foodborne disease outbreaks associated with imported foods, most commonly fish and produce. New outbreak investigation tools and federal regulatory authority are key to maintaining food safety.
The present study identified the most commonly consumed grain food patterns in US children and adolescents (2-18 years-old; N = 8,367) relative to those not consuming grains and compared diet quality and nutrient intakes, with focus on 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans (2015-2020 DGA) shortfall nutrients.