Less than half of the European dietary recommendations for fish consumption are satisfied by national seafood supplies

Anneli Lofstedt, Baukje de Roos*, Paul G. Fernandes

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

19 Citations (Scopus)
28 Downloads (Pure)


Purpose: To review the seafood dietary recommendations of European countries and compare them to national seafood supplies. Methods: Current seafood dietary recommendations were collated from national health authorities across Europe. Food balance sheets were downloaded from the FAO, and appropriate conversion factors were applied to each seafood commodity. Average net per capita seafood supplies from 2007 to 2017 were derived from data on imports and production for food from both capture fisheries and aquaculture, accounting for exports. Results: Both national dietary recommendations and seafood supplies varied considerably throughout Europe. At a national level, on a per capita basis, only 13 out of the 31 of European dietary recommendations for fish consumption were satisfied by national seafood supplies. Most of the countries with coastal access, as well as those with traditional fish-eating cultures, such as France and countries in Northern Europe, had adequate seafood supplies to meet their recommendations. The landlocked countries of Central and Eastern Europe did not have enough seafood supplies to satisfy their recommendations. Conclusions: Our findings emphasise the need to not only consider consumer health outcomes when developing and advocating dietary recommendations, but also the sustainability of food production systems. As many foods are not necessarily locally sourced but traded as part of global production and distribution systems, it is important to consider greater consistency between national dietary recommendations to facilitate more sustainable marine food systems.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)4219-4228
Number of pages10
JournalEuropean Journal of Nutrition
Issue number8
Early online date17 May 2021
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Dietary recommendations
  • Europe
  • Net supply
  • Seafood

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Medicine (miscellaneous)
  • Nutrition and Dietetics


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