Seafood is any sea animal or seaweed that is served as food or is suitable for eating, particularly seawater animals, such as fish and shellfish (including mollusks and crustaceans). By extension, in North America although not generally in the United Kingdom, the term seafood is also applied to similar animals from fresh water and all edible aquatic animals are collectively referred to as seafood.
Edible seaweeds are rarely considered seafood, even though they come from seawater and are widely eaten around the world. See the category of sea vegetables.
The harvesting of seafood is known as fishing and the cultivation of seafood is known as aquaculture, mariculture, or simply fish farming.
Seafood is a source of protein in many diets around the world.
Research into population trends of various species of seafood is pointing to a global collapse of seafood species by 2048. Such a collapse would occur due to pollution and overfishing, threatening oceanic ecosystems, according to some researchers.
A major international scientific study released in November 2006 in the journal Science found that about one-third of all fishing stocks worldwide have collapsed (with a collapse being defined as a decline to less than 10% of their maximum observed abundance), and that if current trends continue all fish stocks worldwide will collapse within fifty years.
The FAO State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture 2004 report estimates that in 2003, of the main fish stocks or groups of resources for which assessment information is available, "approximately one-quarter were overexploited, depleted or recovering from depletion (16%, 7% and 1% respectively) and needed rebuilding."
Advocacy organizations such as the National Fisheries Institute, however, disagree with such findings and assert that currently observed declines in fish population are due to natural fluctuations and that enhanced technologies will eventually alleviate whatever impact humanity is having on oceanic life.
- Fish (food)
- Fish market
- List of types of seafood
- Sustainable seafood
- Seafood Watch, sustainable consumer guide (USA)
- ↑ World Seafood Supply Could Run Out by 2048 Researchers Warn boston.com. Retrieved 6 February, 2007
- ↑ "'Only 50 years left' for sea fish", BBC News. 2 November 2006.
- ↑ "The Status of the Fishing Fleet," The State of World Fisheries and Aquaculture: 2004.
- ↑ Seafood Could Collapse by 2050, Experts Warn, msnbc.com. Retrieved 22 July 2007.
- Robson, A. 2006. "Shellfish view of omega-3 and sustainable fisheries." Nature 444, 1002
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