Fish aren’t exactly the most warmhearted animals; male fish are known to eat their spawn when uncertain of paternity, and some species snack on their eggs. Most fishmeal (fed to many animals, including fish) is made from small marine fish containing high percentages of oil and bones. But now researchers want to foist some of the more gruesome fish byproducts upon hungry fish.
The USDA and scientists at the Oceanic Institute in Waimanalo, Hawaii are developing fish feed made from fish byproducts including heads, tails, bones, skins, and internal organs–all parts that would normally be thrown away). According to PhysOrg, feed made from discarded pieces of Alaskan pollock and cod is as high quality as feed made from Norwegian fishmeal, generally thought to be the best fishmeal available. The fish byproducts even work as feeding stimulants, causing shrimp to consume even more of the feed.
So is there a downside to giving fish this head and internal organ-filled feed? Not really. Fish are already fed fish-containing fishmeal. The Oceanic Institute’s feed simply prevents fish parts from going to waste. Ultimately, we should probably be more concerned about the genetically altered salmon heading to our dinner tables.