FRDC communication of evidence-based information on the healthfulness and sustainability of seafood to Health Professionals

Project Number:



Professional Nutrition Services

Principal Investigator:

Gabrielle O'Kane

Project Status:


FRDC Expenditure:



Adoption, Environment, People


The present application will build extensively on the previous nutrition research of Somerset and Bowerman by engaging health professionals in evidence-based and practical communication material which they can use to assist consumers in integrating seafood towards more healthy and sustainable dietary choices. Dr Gabrielle O’Kane, a board member of the Dietitians Association of Australia, has also been conducting multi-disciplinary research focusing on the barriers and drivers of fish consumption in Australia. On the 18 May 2017, Dr O’Kane gave an oral presentation ‘Aligning sustainability and nutrition goals in Australian seafood consumption’ at the 34th National DAA conference in Hobart, reporting on the findings of the advice related to seafood consumption provided by APDs and PHNs to their clients. The findings showed that APDs and PHNs are uncertain as to where to find reliable evidence-based information on sustainable seafood stocks. The conference had over 600 delegates and there was keen interest in the Nutrition in Public Health, Community and the Environment stream of concurrent sessions, of which this presentation was a part. See the link http://daa2017.com.au/cms/wp-content/uploads/DAA-2017-Final-Program-as-of-24-April-2017.pdf. Dr Carolyn Stewardson was able to assist Dr O’Kane with sourcing clear, summarised information on the status of Australian wild fish stocks in advance of the conference, which was well-received by delegates. One of the key take home message of Dr O’Kane's presentation was to check the sites www.fish.gov.au and www.fishfiles.com.au. There is a clear gap in the provision of evidence-based information on (i) performance of fisheries management/status of Australia’s fish stocks and (ii) the health benefits and recommendations around eating fish, to this sector. Dietary recommendations for fish intake presents a conflict between desired outcomes for environmental sustainability and health.


1. Translate FRDC's nutritional data and fish stock status information into simple, credible educational resources for health professionals and consumers according to their expressed needs and wants.

2. Effectively disseminate these resources through DAA, PHAA and Practice Nurses Association to health professionals in Australia for distribution into the wider community.