Collaborators: Lora Iannotti, Carolyn Lesosrogol, Joe Steensma (Washington University in St. Louis); Andrew Wamukota (Pwani University); Elizabeth Kamau-Mbuthia (Egerton University); Terezie Mosby (Mississippi State University)
Lab Personnel: Lauren Josephs
Goal: Investigate social-ecological linkages between marine fisheries catches, markets and access, and household nutrition for pregnant women and small children.
Significance: Some of the most vulnerable Kenyans to malnutrition and micronutrient deficiencies are those along the coastline. Here, achieving sustainable fishing in overexploited small-scale fisheries and improving access to nutrient-rich fish may have large-scale implications for food security.
Background: Coastal fisheries in Kenya have seen a four-fold decrease in their catch since the 1980’s. Nearly half of the Kenyan population lives below the poverty line, and vulnerable groups show low dietary diversity with only 21% of children less than five years old reporting consumption of fish, meat, or poultry. An assessment of local coastal fisheries using nutrition and health indicators in combination with information on local market conditions and social norms on fish consumption will help to identify sustainable pathways and leverage points for intervention that improves food security. While some of these foods may already be coming from existing fisheries, identifying underutilized sources such as sea urchins and pelagic fishes is also important.
Funding: US Agency for International Development (USAID)