DIVERSIFICATION OF AFRICAN AQUACULTURE SPECIES A TOOL FOR SUSTAINABILITY AND HUMAN HEALTH: THE CASE OF OYSTERSMay 9, 2019
By: Dr. Mustapha ABA, Aquaculture Researcher. Morocco.
In a state of overexploitation of marine resources, aquaculture appears as an alternative to obtain quality animal proteins, both for human consumption and for the restoration of aquatic ecosystems. This practice has been implemented, not to replace traditional fishing, but to supplement it in two main ways:
- Reduce global food shortages
- Reduce the pressure on natural resources.
Since the beginning of humanity, seafood has been part of the human diet, and is the main source of animal protein in some countries. The constant increase in consumption of marine products, the constraint of natural resources, have contributed to aquaculture playing an important role in meeting this demand.
In aquaculture, fish species dominate other groups such as crustaceans, molluscs and algae. Domesticated fish belong to the main product groups (carp, tilapia, catfish, salmon, and trout).
In Africa, an aquaculture strategy is being adopted for the cultivation of other species using established technologies, combined with the continued domestication of a larger number of molluscs species will likely generate more jobs, for aqua-farmers facing socio-economic and emerging market impacts.
A more diversified aquaculture sector is also expected to provide other quality aquaculture products to consumers, such as oysters, which are recognized for their high nutritional value; they are an important source of protein, beneficial cholesterol, antioxidants, fatty acids omega-3 and water. These elements make for extremely healthy foods that can improve the function and health of your body. They are also vast stocks of minerals, vitamins and organic compounds. In fact, some minerals are the richest in oysters, making it the food product of choice worldwide for their supplementation especially in zinc, for this Dr. Drew Ramsey, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry at Columbia University has recommended to his patients the oyster as a treatment for anxiety and mild depression. According to him, eating fresh and nutritious foods like oysters improves mental health.
Food Nutrition Research states that oysters are rich in zinc. It is recognized as a source of the predominant metal ion in the brain responsible for neuronal migration and regulation of neurogenesis and differentiation. Consumption of food rich in zinc improves cognitive development and normalizes brain functions.
For the importance of oyster farming, aquacultureinafrica pays tribute to all the professionals of the oyster aquaculture sector in Africa and pays special tribute to Mr Eddadi Mohamed Ali from Morocco recognized by Oyster farming.