As the world’s population increases, the need for reliable sources of food – especially protein – will grow. Given the large energy use and methane emissions associated with cattle, we cannot rely solely on beef to fill the gap. But what about fish?


Wild fish stocks are already under pressure, so to make fish a sustainable choice, we would have to depend on aquaculture. But ironically, most salt-water fish farms use wild-caught fish as feed.

Place: “A typical diet in the past has been to harvest small feed fish and render those into a fishmeal and a fish oil.”

That’s Al Place of the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. His team has developed a vegetarian food for farm-raised fish. He says the key was adding taurine and omega three fatty acids to the meal.

Place: “You can make a commercially viable diet with plant proteins, which the U.S. is very good at making – cornmeal, soybean meal, and so forth – and with the right quantity of these omega three fatty acids, you can make a diet that works.”

And that could reduce the pressure on global fisheries as we feed a growing population.

Reporting credit: ChavoBart Digital Media.
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Lisa Palmer

Lisa Palmer is a freelance journalist and a fellow at the National Socio-Environmental Synthesis Center, SESYNC, in Annapolis, Md. Her writing covers the environment, energy, food security, agriculture,...