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Oceans Provide Healthy, Renewable Way To Meet Hunger Demand Of Growing Population

“With a growing population and an onslaught of new planetary pressures expected to limit terrestrial food production, the conversation about how we’re going to feed a hungry planet should include the oceans,” Andrew Sharpless, CEO of Oceana, and actor Ted Danson write in the Huffington Post’s “Green” blog. “We need to produce 70 percent more food to meet the coming hunger needs, with meat production alone increasing from 270 million metric tons in 2009 to 470 million metric tons in 2050, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organization,” they continue, adding, “The oceans will provide us an opportunity to meet that demand in a way that’s eternally renewable, but only if we start taking the appropriate steps right now.”

“Restoring the health of the oceans through a few basic principles in targeted areas around the world will benefit marine ecosystems and allow us to responsibly feed 700 million people every day, up from 450 million people at current levels,” they write, noting, “The places we need to focus on are fortunately located in waters controlled by just a few nations, which means policies implemented on a country-by-country basis can help protect the majority of the world’s marine fish.” They conclude, “What we have here is an opportunity to make a tangible difference in the battle against global hunger while restoring the health and bounty of the world’s oceans. What a rare opportunity to benefit both man and ocean all at the same time” (5/29).

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in Menlo Park, California.