Wharf with boats, mountain in the background. Blue sky. Eden, NSW

Fisheries and aquaculture for food and nutrition

Working to identify recommended approaches to improve food outcomes from fisheries and aquaculture, as well as specific actions to enable a food-based approach to management

Aquatic foods play an important role in global food systems, yet the management of fisheries and aquaculture is predominantly focussed on economic and environmental outcomes. On a global scale, nutrition is generally not identified as an objective in fisheries management policies, and where it is, the objectives tend to prioritise increasing availability as the sole mechanism to improve food security and nutrition.

This research is funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC) (project ID DE230100069).


Lead: Anna Farmery, anna_farmery@uow.edu.au

Research Assistant: Liam Fullbrook, liam_fullbrook@uow.edu.au

PhD candidate: Tekateteke Metai

Key publications

Troell, M., Costa‐Pierce, B., Stead, S., Cottrell, R.S., Brugere, C., Farmery, A.K., Little, D.C., Strand, Å., Pullin, R., Soto, D. and Beveridge, M., 2023. Perspectives on aquaculture's contribution to the Sustainable Development Goals for improved human and planetary healthJournal of the World Aquaculture Society54(2), pp.251-342.

Farmery, A.K. and Bogard, J.R., 2022. Realising the potential for aquatic foods to contribute to environmentally sustainable and healthy diets. In Routledge Handbook of Sustainable Diets (pp. 106-118). Routledge.

Farmery, A.K., White, A. and Allison, E.H., 2021. Identifying policy best-practices to support the contribution of aquatic foods to food and nutrition securityFoods10(7), p.1589.

Farmery, A.K., Kajlich, L., Voyer, M., Bogard, J.R. and Duarte, A., 2020. Integrating fisheries, food and nutrition–Insights from people and policies in Timor-LesteFood Policy91, p.101826.

More about the project

Food security consists of several dimensions in addition to availability, including access, utilization, and stability. The ways in which aquatic foods can best contribute to these dimensions as part of the broader food system require further investigation, a gap that we will tackle through this project. Furthermore, additional dimensions of the food security concept – agency and sustainability – also require more consideration, given the widening food system inequalities and the intricate connections between ecological systems and food systems. These additional dimensions are particularly relevant to aquatic foods which are reliant on natural systems, and also play a critical role in the diets of Indigenous people, and those living in small island developing states.

In order to establish nutrition-sensitive aquaculture and fisheries policies, and to incorporate these directly into food policy and global food system dialogues and action, this research project focuses on how these sectors can best address the full range of food security dimensions. Recent research has highlighted how specific nutrients in aquatic foods can address particular nutrition deficiencies  and we are working to expand our understanding beyond nutrients to consider relationships between food consumption patterns and health outcomes. Aquatic foods are highly nutritious, but they also have significant cultural and culinary roles and requirements. Importantly, most people do not choose what aquatic foods to eat based on their nutritional composition.

We are working to identify both recommended approaches to improve food outcomes from fisheries and aquaculture as well as specific management actions to help develop and enable a food-based approach to management, that address the six pillars of food and nutrition security.

Want to be involved?

If you are interested in being involved in this research project, please contact the project lead Dr Anna Farmery: