I love seafood, especially fish, and I believe that many of us have that same love for seafood, as there is a global demand for seafood. Each year, the global demand for seafood for human consumption is 143.8 million tonnes, and the overall consumption footprint, which includes other uses of seafood, is 154 million tonnes. China has the largest seafood consumption footprint of 65 million tonnes. Well, I guess that is not a question since they have the largest population in the world.
Chow and Lin in 2017 wanted to examine the impact of fish farming through China’s most popular fish — the yellow croaker. And examine they did. Through the help of experts and the locals, they “traversed 4 towns in Fujian China to build a tessellated mosaic of fish portraits to see how much wild small fish is needed to sustain fish farming.”
The answer is 7.15kg, 39 species, more than 4000 wild small fish to raise a single kilogram of large yellow croaker.
They are the 3 singular fish at the centre of the picture.
The large yellow croaker is China’s most popular fish, and they used to be caught in the wild for generations. Overfishing coupled with a sharp rise in consumption in China has led to a near extinction of the large yellow croaker species in the wild.
Today, virtually every large yellow croaker is farmed, and they are fed with wild small fish caught in the nearby China seas. Many of these fish are caught premature, and these species are threatened due to overfishing and lack of regulation.
(Image Credit: National Institute of Korean Language/ Wikimedia Commons)