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Brazil Promotes Fish in Schools

BRAZIL - The fisheries and aquaculture minister, Marcelo Crivella, announced the start of a programme to map fish consumption in public schools as part of the promotion of fish in the country as a healthy food.

The minister stated that fish consumption in the country could be higher. With the help of schools and nutritionists fish can be better promoted through more understanding on how to cook and store it.

He said the federal government's goal is to develop an "X-ray of the sector, in order to see what is happening.

"We want schools not only teach subjects such as Portuguese and mathematics, but also healthy habits such as consumption of fish, which may continue for a lifetime," he said.

The minister recalled that Brazil still consumes some fish in relation to the ammount recommended by the World Health Organization. In 2010, domestic consumption averaged 9.75 pounds /per capita, whereas the international organisation recommends at least 12 pounds. The only exception, he noted, is the Amazon region, where fish consumption is high.

The minister stated that he wants fish consumption to overtake chicken as it is healthier. He also wants to see the development of aquaculture which will help lower the price of fish.

To this end, he stressed the importance of research, ie, Science and Technology for increased productivity of fish.

Mr Crivella also urged businessmen to participate in this major shift in the market, investing in the fishing sector.

The research in the public schools will be made in March and April.

Lucy Towers

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