Michael A. Crawford of the Institute of Brain Chemistry and Human Nutrition believes the future mental health, possibly the survival, of the human race may depend on protecting the Earth's marine environment and resources. The link between mental health and the oceans lies in omega-3 fatty acids, particularly docosahexaenoic acid (DHA). "The ubiquitous nature of DHA in the brains and photoreceptors of fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds and mammals," opines Crawford, "indicates it has a 600-million-year exclusive track record in the signaling system of the eye and the brain."
He believes animals eating foods containing omega-6 rather than omega-3 fatty acids resulted in a smaller brain capacity in relation to their larger, evolving body sizes. In the past 50 years, humans have started to eat less fish, increasing the dietary intake of other types of fatty acids. Not surprisingly, Crawford says, there has been a serious decline in mental health since 1950.
"Unless a new paradigm is injected into food and environmental policy for land, coastal and deep-sea resources, the prospect for the future is bleak," believes Crawford. "The stakes are high. They are the future health and intelligence of children yet to be born, and the future of our species."