Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Muscat Declaration calls for boosting research on marine products

Oman Tribune
By Jeta Pillai

MUSCAT Greater funding of research on marine products will lead to new ways in which they can aid nutrition and prevent ill-health among people, says the ‘Muscat Declaration.’

The declaration is based on recommendations at the recent International Conference on Economic Importance of Fisheries and their Impact on Public Health. The conference was organised by the Ministry of Fisheries in association with Sultan Qaboos University and Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition at Metropolitan University in London.

Researchers at the conference, held in March, deliberated on the latest scientific evidence linking seafood consumption to human nutrition, health and the well-being of nations.

The declaration also recommends investments for translating research findings on marine products into programmes for the benefit of the community and industry.

Seafood is an important source of dietary components such as, iodine, zinc, iron and selenium and essential lipids. Higher seafood consumption would prevent adverse outcomes in pregnancy, cardiovascular diseases, mental ill health, stroke, cancer and other non-communicable diseases, which are getting commoner, it said.

HE Dr Hamed Bin Said Al Oufi, Undersecretary at the Ministry of Fisheries told Oman Tribune that Oman wants its young generation to make seafood a staple of their diet and move away from fast food.

It will benefit the entire country, said Al Oufi. It will reduce incidence of cardiovascular and other diseases and bring the health care bill down.

Consumption of seafood and related products will fuel economic growth, create a healthy population and avenues for employment, said Al Oufi.

All that is in the Muscat Declaration is useful to Oman and it will be made available in other countries through international agencies like the World Health Organisation and Food and Agriculture Organisation, he added.

In some of the other recommendations, participants have noted that due to rapid changes in the composition of feeds for cultivated fish, monitoring programmes should be introduced to ensure wholesomeness of products. It is in favour of programmes to increase public awareness on the nutritional and health benefits of seafood consumption.

It also suggests incorporation of studies on nutrition and health education in school and university programmes, especially in medical and paramedical courses. The declaration affirmed the importance of ensuring sustainable exploitation of marine resources while recommending a need to improve harvesting methods in wild aquatic ecosystems and enhancing production systems in aquaculture.



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