Photo: Marilene Viero/Funbio
Bycatch usually consists of fish and other marine life considered of no commercial value trapped in fishing nets trawling for other species. Their lack of commercial value often means they are thrown back into the sea either dead or fatally injured.
Discarding dead and dying fish pollutes the water and increases the pressure on trawlable species, leading to environmental unbalance and extinction through overfishing.
One way of reducing the impact of this problem would be to demonstrate the nutritional value of these underutilized species, eking out space for them on the consumer market. “The Importance of Underutilized Species in Maintaining Marine Biodiversity and their Transformation into Sustainable Fisheries Resources: an Interdisciplinary Approach to Eco-nutrition”, an initiative led by the Educational Foundation for Science and Development, aims to draw up dietary recommendations for some frequently discarded bycatch species, with special emphasis on public food security and nutrition policy by identifying them as sources of omega-3 and vitamin D. Studies will also be carried out to ascertain levels of contamination by micropollutants caused by the dumping of these species.
From a nutritional and environmental perspective, increased efficiency in the handling of these food sources is vital to the future sustainability of fish stocks, as society endeavors to service greater demand with fewer natural resources.
Marine and Coastal