Effects of the Global Seafood Trade on Health and Nutritional Security

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The global seafood trade represents the world’s largest food commodity market by value, generating massive economic flows across nations of all development levels. On top of the financial importance of this supply chain, seafood provides a broad range of nutritional benefits, from fats and proteins to key micronutrients. Building off of the dynamics of the Seafood Trade Deficit hypothesis, which asserts that developing nations export higher-value seafood than they import, this study seeks to determine whether such a value exchange extends to nutrition, and if the price of seafood is positively correlated with nutritional density. Using a six-nation, one-year comparative case-study approach, a global seafood trade database was generated. This database maps all international seafood trades by species and product type and affixes unique nutritional profiles for each good. This data demonstrates additional quantitative support of the Seafood Trade Deficit, as well as economic trade flows that suggest unique price-points of seafood depending on the development status of each nation participating. A hedonic pricing model displays strong evidence that the finfish market has a radically different relationship between price and nutrition compared to all other seafood product types. While price was positively correlated to macro-nutritional density of protein and fat in finfish, the market for other seafood products did not demonstrate the same positive correlation between price and nutritional benefit. Looking forward, we recommend expanding the database to include seafood trade across all countries within a longer time frame to increase the scope of reference and refine our findings. For more information, please contact David at ddietz92@gmail.com or Dustin at dzcolson@gmail.com.





Dietz, David, and Dustin Colson Leaning (2019). Effects of the Global Seafood Trade on Health and Nutritional Security. Master's project, Duke University. Retrieved from https://hdl.handle.net/10161/18387.

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