How is nutrition, health and wellbeing conceptualised in connection with seafood for coastal Indigenous Peoples’

Beau Cubillo (Corresponding Author), Natasha Stacey, Julie Brimblecombe

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Coastal Indigenous people access and maintain customary connections to seafood for nourishment, livelihoods and Indigenous values. It is recognised that seafood contributes significantly to coastal Indigenous people's diets. Despite this, global fisheries sectors have overlooked the role seafood plays in contributing to nutritional, health and wellbeing outcomes of coastal Indigenous communities. Global entities have called for ‘nutrition sensitive policies’ to improve nutritional, health and wellbeing outcomes. The aim of this study was to apply an ‘Indigenist’ inquiry lens and ‘yarning’ as a method to further understand from an Indigenous perspective how concepts of nutritional, health and wellbeing outcomes are represented and connected to seafood. Research involved 16 Aboriginal informants, six women and ten men from a fishing enterprise, arts and culture centre and a women's centre with a connection to commercial and customary fishing in Maningrida community in the Northern Territory of Australia, 2019–2022. Key themes related to respecting of Elders, culture, country, Aboriginal nutrition, traditional medicinal knowledge, Aboriginal fishing enterprises, barriers to accessing seafood, lived experience, intergenerational knowledge transfer and interconnectedness. It is clear that fishing and access to seafood for Aboriginal people is a pathway to healthier food provision within coastal Indigenous communities. It needs to be recognised however, that Indigenous nutritional, health and wellbeing concepts and self-determination principles need to be integrated into ‘nutrition sensitive policies’ within fisheries and mariculture sectors.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102434
JournalFood Policy
Issue number102434
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2023


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