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Displaying items by tag: farmed salmon

Nutritious wild-caught fish is being squandered if it continues to be used as feed for farmed salmon, a new study maintains.

Scientists analysing the Scottish salmon farming industry calculate that an extra six million tonnes of seafood would be available annually if wild caught fish is diverted away from aquaculture feed.

Farming fish is often billed as a way to relieve pressure on wild stocks, but caged-reared species such as Atlantic salmon rely for feed on fish oil and meal made from millions of tonnes of wild-caught fish.

The new study published in the research journal PLOS Sustainability and Transformation says that limiting salmon farming to using feed made from fish by-products could result in 3.7 million tonnes of fish being left in the sea.

Global annual seafood production could increase by 6.1 (six point one) million tonnes by avoiding use of nutritious wild-caught fish, the team of scientists from Cambridge, Lancaster and Liverpool universities and environmental NGO Feedback Global, state.

The team collected data on fish nutrient content, fishmeal and fish oil composition, and salmon production, and examined the transfer of micronutrients from feed to fish in Scotland's farmed salmon industry.

The scientists say that results showed that over half of the essential dietary minerals and fatty acids available in wild fish are lost when these fish are fed to farmed salmon.

The team developed alternative production scenarios where salmon were only produced using fish by-products, and then added more wild-caught fish, mussels or carp for human consumption.

All alternative production scenarios produced more seafood that was more nutritious than salmon, and left 66-82% of feed fish in the sea.

The researchers then collected global salmon, fishmeal and oil production data to apply their alternative scenarios at a global scale.

One scenario shows that farming more carp and less salmon, using only feed from fish by-products, could leave 3.7 million tonnes of wild fish in the sea while producing 39% more seafood overall, according to their calculations.

“Fish and seafood provide a vital and valuable micronutrient-rich food source to people worldwide, and we must make sure we are using this resource efficiently,” the study leader, Dr David Willer of Cambridge University, said.

“ Eating more wild fish and using alternative feeds in salmon farms can achieve this,” he said.

The authors acknowledge that not enough is known about the source and species composition of fishmeal, but there are positive signs that use of plant-based feeds is growing.

Dr James Robinson of Lancaster University said more data on the volumes and species used for fishmeal and fish oil was required, as “this can show where salmon farming places additional pressure on fish stocks”.

Dr Karen Luyckx of the Feedback ngo said that “until the salmon industry kicks its wild-caught fish oil and fishmeal habit, chefs and retailers should help citizens switch away from unsustainable salmon by offering ultra-nutritious mussels and small oily fish instead.”

The authors call for a reduction in marine aquaculture feeds, as this will offer opportunities to produce more nutritious seafood while reducing pressure on marine ecosystems.

Maximising sustainable nutrient production from coupled fisheries-aquaculture systems by David Willer, James Robinson, Grace Patterson and Karen Luyckx is published in PLOS Sustainability and Transformation.

Published in Aquaculture
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About Currachs

A currach is a type of boat unique to the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland. Traditionally, currachs have a wooden frame over which animal skins or hides are stretched. These days, the wooden frame is more likely to be covered in canvas, which is then painted with tar to make it waterproof.

"Naomhóg" is the name given to the type of currach which used by coastal communities in Cork and Kerry. Currachs differ from each other from region to region. Naomhógs are slightly longer than the currachs used in the West of Ireland.
 
Some believe that currachs first came to the Dingle Peninsula in the early 19th century. They say this type of boat was introduced from Clare, where currachs are known as "canoes". 

Currachs are a unique type of boat that can be found on the west coasts of Ireland and Scotland. These boats are traditionally constructed using a wooden frame over which animal skins or hides are stretched. While this practice is still observed by some, many modern currachs now feature a canvas covering which is painted with tar to make it waterproof.

In coastal communities located in the Cork and Kerry regions, a specific type of currach is used which is known as a Naomhóg. Naomhógs are slightly longer than other types of currachs used in the West of Ireland. It is believed that currachs were first introduced to the Dingle Peninsula in the early 19th century, having been brought over from Clare where they are known as "canoes".

Despite the fact that currachs have been in use for centuries, the different regions in which they are used have developed their own unique variations. As such, currachs can differ from one another significantly depending on their geographic location. Nonetheless, these boats remain an integral part of coastal communities, serving as a reminder of our shared maritime heritage.