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Prey Fish and Aquaculture

More than ever, overfishing of prey species is driven by aquaculture.

High-value farmed fish such as tuna and salmon require staggering volumes of prey fish as feed and this growing aquaculture demand leaves predators with few options.

A third of all global fish landings are processed into fish oil and fishmeal. Aquaculture currently consumes more than 81 percent of the prey fish captured and reduced to fish oil and approximately half of those captured for fishmeal.

Farmed salmon consume the highest volumes of fish oil and fishmeal. To grow just one pound of farmed salmon, an estimated four to eleven pounds of prey fish are consumed. As the aquaculture industry continues to expand, prey fish are depleted at alarming and unsustainable rates.

If current trends continue, some researchers predict that aquaculture will outgrow the supply of fishmeal as soon as 2020.