HOUSTON, July 30, 2018 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Menhaden-based fish oil and fishmeal efficiently provide humans and their pets with omega-3 fatty acids linked to healthy hearts, reduced inflammation, and improved brain development, as demonstrated in a new video produced by Omega Protein. The video comes in reaction to a new book, The Omega Principle, which questions the usefulness of the marine ingredients industry and the benefits of omega-3 supplements for human health.
“Marine Ingredients Explained” illustrates how fish oil and fishmeal are some of the most practical and efficient ways to deliver healthy omega-3s such as EPA, DPA, and DHA into human and animal diets. 90 percent of global fish oil goes to human consumption, either directly – through nutritional supplements, food ingredients and pharmaceuticals – or indirectly – through feeds used to produce farmed fish like salmon. When people eat farmed fish fed with marine ingredients, healthy omega-3s are passed up the food chain.
Today, most of the fish consumed globally is farmed, not caught in the wild. In 2012, global production of farmed fish and shrimp surpassed 50.6 million tons, a nearly 30-fold increase from 1970. As global aquaculture production continues to grow, so to does the need for efficient, sustainable sources of marine ingredients.
Menhaden, a small fish sustainably harvested along the Atlantic Coast and in the Gulf of Mexico, is the most common source of fish oil and fishmeal in the United States. While menhaden is unfit for direct human consumption, as a rich source of omega-3s, it is used to produce marine ingredients for aquaculture.
As “Marine Ingredients Explained” notes, technological advances have led to increasingly efficient uses of fishmeal and fish oil in aquafeed – far more efficient than found in the wild. In nature, it takes at least 10 kg of prey fish to produce 1 kg of predator fish. However, due to innovations in modern aquaculture, it requires just 0.78 kg of menhaden to produce 1 kg of salmon. Recently, feed companies have become more efficient. Now, only 0.51 kg of marine ingredients is able to produce 1kg of salmon.
On a larger scale, marine ingredients are being used efficiently in global aquaculture production. In 2012, 16.3 million tons of fish were harvested for use in fish oil and fishmeal, while in the same year aquaculture produced 50.6 millions tons of fish – a one to three ratio.
Through their use as marine ingredients in nutritional supplements and aquafeed, menhaden effectively and efficiently provides people and their pets with healthy omega-3 fatty acids.