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Photo of the Week (9/7/10)

 

Fishing to Feed Fluffy
Sardines
Linda Schonknecht/Marine Photobank
The commercial fishing of small, forage fish, such as anchovies, herring and the sardine pictured here, for nonhuman consumption is an issue of increasing concern. Most of this catch is used to indirectly feed humans as it is converted to the fishmeal and fish oil used in aquaculture and on terrestrial farms. A recent study, however, found that roughly 14 percent of the 39 million metric tons of wild forage fish caught annually is used for purposes other than human food production, predominantly for pet food. The researchers emphasize that much of the forage fish, a limited and shrinking resource, used in gourmet pet foods is suitable for human consumption and that the pet food industry could ease pressures on forage fish by substituting animal byproducts that are not fit for human consumption into pet food.

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