by Tom Wittig
Developing countries that rely on nourishment from the oceans will soon find their sources of food and way of life threatened, according to an Oceana study released last week. The report, Ocean-Based Food Security Threatened in a High CO2 World, ranks the top 50 nations most vulnerable to climate change and ocean acidification in the context of their seafood and fish consumption.
Not surprisingly, those nations topping the list are among the least responsible for historic emissions of carbon dioxide.
The Comoros claimed the dubious distinction of most threatened, followed by Togo, the Cook Islands, Kiribati, and Eritrea. Other notable countries in the top fifty include Pakistan (8), North Korea (25), China (35), and South Africa (46). The United States did not make the list.
Just how big is this threat? Over a billion people rely on seafood as their main source of protein. Before mid-century, global population is expected to reach nine billion, creating further demand for ocean-based food. Many nations struggling with nutrition will be further challenged, and citizens of some developing nations will likely turn to inferior foods. The authors elaborate:
Losing [seafood] may mean more dependence on less healthy processed foods ...