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Fish Food

December 4, 2008

Small wild fish are used to feed just about anything but people.


Where have all the small fish gone? I’m Bob Hirshon and this is Science Update.

Small fish like sardines and anchovies are being fished to the max. Thirty million tons are taken out of the ocean each year. But a new study from the University of British Columbia finds that very few of them end up on people’s plates – most go to feed pigs, chickens, and farmed fish. Jackie Alder, now at the UN Environment Programme, says that’s a waste. For example, twenty pounds of fish go into producing just one pound of farmed tuna.

JACKIE ALDER (United Nations Environment Programme):
And so if we caN change taste preferences over to these small pelagic fish we wouldn’t have the fish crisis that we have at the moment.

And, she adds, there’s a bonus: the small fish are more nutritious and heart-healthy than many of the big ones. I’m Bob Hirshon, for AAAS, the science society.