Scientists want to turn fish fins into sashimi

Fish meat grown from discarded fins could be the next sustainable food solution.

For every fish caught, made into a sushi roll and eaten, a huge amount of marine life is destroyed.

The Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations recently estimated that 35% of fish caught or farmed is lost or wasted each year – and this figure does not include bycatch such as corals, shrimp and seals. A new process can produce clean meat from fish waste, helping to meet the world’s growing food needs and relieving pressure on fisheries.

Fish consumption has increased alongside global population growth, causing enormous damage to the marine ecosystem, largely due to overfishing. Current food supply systems cannot keep up with demand and industrial fishing is notorious for its wasteful methods.

But the waste gave researchers an idea. Many fish can regenerate their body parts, including fins, heart, tissues, and neurons. Scientists can grow cells from discarded fins to produce “clean aquatic meat” – lab-grown fish flesh – as a sustainable food alternative. Fin cells can transform into various cell types, such as neural cells, fat cells, and skeletal muscle-like cells, without genetic manipulation. The researchers of the new technique cultured the cells to stack them one by one like Lego blocks – eventually, they formed meat like sashimi.

Creating clean aquatic meat in this way is environmentally friendly and increases animal welfare and sustainability. It uses fins that would otherwise be discarded as trash. Fin cells can also be collected without killing live fish, and skin that peels off during breeding can also be used as raw material. Human activity has brought the ocean to the brink of death. Marine ecosystems have been significantly damaged by chemical pollution such as heavy metals and nutrients from intensive agriculture, livestock and aquaculture waste, microplastic pollution and climate change due to excess atmospheric carbon dioxide.

Clean aquatic meat is self-sufficient and a strong candidate for a sustainable food resource. Meat can be grown even in confined areas such as space shuttles. It can be supplied all year round without depending on seasonal catches. The technology to produce clean aquatic meat does not cause environmental pollution and can prevent overfishing. It offers a way to protect marine populations from current and future human threats.

(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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