Concerns rise about the effect of fish farming on smaller 'prey' species
1st April 2009
A new report from Oceana warns that plundering the seas to fuel our fish farms is having serious and far-reaching effects...
The rapid increase in prey species being taken from the world's oceans is having devastating effects on all marine life, new evidence shows. Small species like anchovies, krill and herring are being increasingly targeted by commercial fishing companies, threatening the sustainability of both the 'prey species' themselves; larger fish such as tuna; and whales, dolphins and seals.
Figures released by the Food and Agriculture Organization this month show that seven of the ten most fished species in the world are prey fish. Alarmingly, the majority of such catches are destined to be ground into fishmeal and fish oil. (See Fishy Business, Ecologist Dec/Jan 09). Such products are not for human consumption directly, but used as feed in fish farms and factory farms.
‘Until recently it has been widely believed that prey fish are impossible to overexploit because their populations grow so quickly.’ says Margot Stiles, marine scientist at Oceana, an international sea protection pressure group. ‘We are now proving that untrue... the demands of commercial fisheries and...
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