Fish In, Fish Out: Perception of Sustainability and Contribution to Public Health

Aquaculture.credit.st.nmfs.noaa.gov

Credit: st.nmfs.noaa.gov

ABSTRACT: This article contributes to the ongoing debate regarding the sustainability of fishmeal and fish oil in aquaculture diets. It demonstrates why the “Fish In, Fish Out” metric, which is frequently used to show how many units of wild fish is needed to produce one unit of farmed fish, is not a valid tool for measuring the sustainability or efficiency of aquaculture production. Additionally, the metric diverts attention away from the human health implications of how we raise fish. It substitutes the mass of seafood for the arguably more important value-added dimension – the long chain omega-3 content per unit mass, which is low in fish raised on diets low in marine ingredients. Fishmeal and fish oil produced by sustainable fisheries remain some of the most ecologically efficient ingredients that contribute to the overall gain of seafood biomass. Because many aspects of our health and wellbeing depend on wild fisheries, we must insist on well-managed fish harvest for the health of the world’s population

Byelashov, Oleksandr A., and Mark E. Griffin, 2014. Fish In, Fish Out: Perception of Sustainability and Contribution to Public Health. Fisheries 39(11): 531-535.

Access your special Members-Only content → 

This content is for members only. Please login.
• Click here to read the Spanish abstract.