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[Animal Life] Interpreting “Blue Loss” and Measuring the Hidden Animals in Our Food System

This report examines the issue of “blue loss,” or how many aquatic animals are unaccounted for in the human food chain each year. 

Aquaculture is often touted as the solution to overfishing, yet our study has found that up to half of all animals caught at sea are fed to fish on farms. 

This poses serious questions about aquaculture’s animal welfare paradigm. Listed below are our main findings:

● Approximately 1.2 trillion aquatic animals are fed to other aquatic animals each year. This is approximately one-third to one-half of all animals fished.

● In order to produce the billions of fish that end up on the human plate, trillions of fish are processed, or fed live, as fish feed.

● Many of the fish we feed Salmon have similar welfare needs, thus creating a ‘welfare pyramid’ effect, as each farmed salmon must eat the biomass equivalent to 9 herring, or 120 anchovies, to be brought to harvest weight.

● In terms of welfare, this means that each farmed fish we produce under welfare scrutiny carries with it a vast amount of welfare issues that are invisible to the consumer.

● Possible interventions include several market developments that have the potential to severely disrupt the industry. Plant-based fish feeds could remove trillions of animals from the food system...Continue


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