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Fish oil substitutes may improve environmental health

February 13, 2009 by  

Fish oil can come from sustainable sourcesA new study has suggested that reliance on fish oil replacements may help reduce the farmed fish industry’s dependence on resources from the wild.

Omega-3 fatty acids are an essential part of farmed fish feed and 90 percent of them are currently derived from natural fisheries, but researchers from the School of Life and Environmental Science at Deakin University in Australia claim that alternative lipid sources may reduce the environmental impact of the practice.

Dr Giovanni Turchini from Deakin University explains the paradox facing the fish farming industry by saying, "There is heavy emphasis for aquaculture to meet the global shortage of fish and seafood created by unsustainable fishing practices. However, dietary fish oil … required for the production of omega-3-rich farmed fish … is at present derived solely from wild fisheries."

According to the study, about 75 percent of dietary fish oil can be substituted with vegetable oils and animal fats without impacting the quality of the farmed product.

In addition to stemming the depletion of natural fish habitats, such replacement may also remove existing barriers to the industry’s expansion.

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  • Bob Livingston

    I’ve become a big fan of Krill Oil as a natural and superior source of Omega-3. It’s a renewable resource, and comes from one of the purest places on earth… Antarctica. You can learn more at

  • JW, Chicago

    While hemp oil contains relatively large amounts of Omega-3 and Omega-6, it contains only trace amounts of the psychoactive drug THC (Δ9-tetrahydrocannabinol). These trace amounts are not enough for any physical or psychological effects. However, the United States remains the only first-world country to still outlaw its manufacture.

    From Wikipedia: About 30–35% of the weight of hempseed is an edible oil that contains about 80% as essential fatty acids (EFAs); i.e., linoleic acid, omega-6 (LA, 55%), alpha-linolenic acid, omega-3 (ALA, 22%), in addition to gamma-linolenic acid, omega-6 (GLA, 1–4%) and stearidonic acid, omega-3 (SDA, 0–2%).

  • bev ballow

    Krill oil is good if only it were more inexpensive. Flax seed oil does not have the best quality for the necessary omega 3 oils. But what about algae substitutes? Both krill and algae, like the menhaden that has pretty much been wiped by the fish oil industry, is also favorite food of marine mammals and other threatened and endangered species.

  • Nursery Pots

    Great blog layout, just found it in bing.

  • Peter Godfrey

    I’m not entirely sure where you were trying to go with this, but I found myself running around this blog post after a paragraph or two. I can’t tell if I’m absolutely acceptant this, but it’d be great to see similar entertaining posts like this one in the future.


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