The world\'s top agricultural traders and biotechnology firms are finding novel ways to make fish oil substitutes from grains and algae as they seek to cash in on consumer health fads that have led to a scarcity of the fatty acids commonly found in fish.
To keep farm-raised fish healthy, they are fed Omega 3 fatty acids that are found in the oil of other fish. The same acids are increasingly popular in fish oil dietary supplements for humans.
The surging demand has pushed fish oil prices to a record high and presented the aquaculture industry with a problem: how to source more fish oil without putting depleted global fish stocks under even more pressure. About 90 percent of marine fish stocks worldwide are already fully or partially over-fished, according to the United Nations.
\"We have finite fish oil, growing aquaculture and a world that needs more Omega-3s,\" said Mark Griffin, president of animal nutrition at Omega Protein Corp, the biggest U.S. fish oil producer. \"They\'re going to have to come from somewhere else.\"
The short supply has attracted the world\'s largest grain traders, such as Cargill Inc, Bunge Ltd and Archer Daniels Midland Co.
These agricultural giants are in the midst of transforming themselves into food processing and ingredient suppliers as they look to diversify away from bulk trading of grains and raw materials amid a four-year global supply glut.
Source: Reuters // Original Article