Here at the Size Ecology Lab, we are focused on all things fishy, so we were very excited last week to see the launch of an innovative resource FishNutrients - a new tool in the already impressive suite of FishBase products.
Fish are increasingly recognised as a great source of bioavailable micronutrients and long-chain fatty acids. This means they not only have a high concentration of these nutrients, but they are also in a form that humans can readily absorb. Despite the recognition of the nutritional value of fish, society has not yet realised the full potential of fish to address malnutrition. One important reason for this is the considerable uncertainty around the nutrient content of different fish species – a lot of the work exploring nutrient content of fish has focused on industrial fishing and high value species and has not provided widespread insight into the nutrient profiles of fish species that underpin subsistence and artisanal fishing.
FishNutrients helps address this uncertainty by providing open-source nutrient content data for over 5000 finfish species. This dataset represents both empirical and modelled values for seven different nutrients: protein, calcium, iron, selenium, zinc, omega-3 long chain fatty acids and vitamin A. Users are also able to search by taxon or geographic region, to ensure finding information is both quick and easy.
For a brief introduction to the international collaboration that developed this tool, check out this short video:
or a more in-depth introduction is available via the launch webinar:
The particularly exciting aspect of this tool is the potential for expanding the scope of exciting research into aquatic foods and their capacity to support nutrition security.