Wednesday, July 30, 2014

30/07/2014: Oily fish helps reduce your carbon footprint - slightly

Mackerel, herring, sardines and anchovies are amongst the most energy efficient in protein production, according to a research paper published in the journal Fish and Fisheries.

The energy the researchers refer to is the fuel used to operate fishing boats. They point out that it takes on average just five gallons of diesel to catch a tonne of these fish while to catch an equivalent weight of lobster or shrimp takes five times as much.

The work by Robert Parker a PhD student from Nova Scotia and Peter Tyedmers, director of School for Resources and Environmental Studies at Dalhousie University in Halifax, Canada, also suggest that the inefficiency of protein production for human food consumption is compounded when we feed these oily fish to livestock and in aquatic feeds.

However, they do recognise that asking consumers to eat more of these fish just because they can be produced at little cost in terms of diesel usage is not easy, although pickled herring is a delicious dish for many, they say.

While the study does highlight some important issues for capture fisheries in terms of costs and energy usage, the study might have given a different comparison if the oily fish catch was compared to farmed shrimp energy costs, which is proving a more realistic way of meeting the growing demand for quality fish products in world where the population is continuing to rise rapidly.

Read more HERE.

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