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Int J Environ Res Public Health. 2008 Dec;5(4):258-77.

Towards integration of environmental and health impact assessments for wild capture fishing and farmed fish with particular reference to public health and occupational health dimensions.

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Occupational and Environmental Health Research Group, University of Stirling, Scotland.


The paper offers a review and commentary, with particular reference to the production of fish from wild capture fisheries and aquaculture, on neglected aspects of health impact assessments which are viewed by a range of international and national health bodies and development agencies as valuable and necessary project tools. Assessments sometimes include environmental health impact assessments but rarely include specific occupational health and safety impact assessments especially integrated into a wider public health assessment. This is in contrast to the extensive application of environmental impact assessments to fishing and the comparatively large body of research now generated on the public health effects of eating fish. The value of expanding and applying the broader assessments would be considerable because in 2004 the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization reports there were 41,408,000 people in the total 'fishing' sector including 11,289,000 in aquaculture. The paper explores some of the complex interactions that occur with regard to fishing activities and proposes the wider adoption of health impact assessment tools in these neglected sectors through an integrated public health impact assessment tool.

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