A Scoping Analysis of Peer-Reviewed Literature About Linkages Between Aquaculture and Determinants of Human Health
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- Burns, T.E., Wade, J., Stephen, C. et al. EcoHealth (2014) 11: 227. doi:10.1007/s10393-013-0875-x
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For many of the world’s poor, aquatic products are critical for food security and health. Because the global population is increasing as wild aquatic stocks are declining, aquaculture is an increasingly important source of aquatic products. We undertook a scoping review of the English-language peer-reviewed literature to evaluate how the research community has examined the impacts of aquaculture on four key determinants of human health: poverty, food security, food production sustainability, and gender equality. The review returned 156 primary research articles. Most research (75%) was focused in Asia, with limited research from Africa (10%) and South America (2%). Most research (80%) focused on freshwater finfish and shrimp production. We used qualitative content analysis of records which revealed 11 themes: famer income; the common environment; shared resources; integrated farming/ polyculture; employment; extensive vs. intensive production; local vs. distant ownership; food security; income equity; gender equality; and input costs. We used quantitative content analysis of records and full-text publications about freshwater finfish and shrimp aquaculture to record the frequency with which themes were represented and the positive or negative impacts of aquaculture associated with each theme. Scatter plots showed that no theme was identified in more than half of all articles and publications for both production types. Farmer income was a theme that was identified commonly and was positively impacted by both shrimp and fresh water finfish aquaculture. Polyculture, employment, and local ownership were identified less often as themes, but were also associated with positive impacts. The common environment and shared resources were more common themes in shrimp aquaculture than freshwater finfish aquaculture research, while polyculture and local ownership were more common themes in freshwater finfish aquaculture than shrimp aquaculture. Gender equality, employment, and food security were themes found in a lower percentage of records than full-text publications for both production types.