Fish expert Paul Greenberg brought up a yet another ethical dilemma for pet owners in a recent New York Times op-ed: are pet foods destroying the ocean by eating fish? The pet food industry uses 10% of the world’s forage fish catch–the tiny unloved species like anchovies or krill whose overfishing is a threat to the whole ocean. About 40% of all ocean fish caught are turned into oil and meal–used in food for livestock, farmed fish and pet meals. Greenberg sites a 2000 study which says the removal of wild “forage” fish could potentially starve whales, seals and other sea dwellers.
The situation has gotten so dire that NOAA is trying to come up with a soy alternative, at least for the fish meal fed to other fish. While Greenberg’s column focuses mainly on cat food, there are plenty of dog foods which include fish too. What’s your take on this issue? Take our poll and leave a comment below.