Fish and fish products are consumed as food all over the world and it is a good source of animal protein. Fish and other aquatic organisms have been of a great importance to man in so many ways like we are going to discuss about below.
Today, fish provides more than one billion poor people with most of their daily animal protein. Fish provides nutrients and micronutrients that are essential to cognitive and physical development, especially in children, and are an important part of a healthy diet.
As an affordable animal source of protein in some of the poorest countries, fish is the primary source of nutrition, creating growing demand for this staple.
Fish gives a number of by products which are utilised commercially. Fish by products include, Fish oil, Fish Manure, Fish Glue, Isinglass: a gelatinous substance, obtained from the air bladder of perches, Indian Salmons and cat fish used in the preparation of special cement and in the clarification of wine and beer; Shagreen: The skin of sharks and rays, which has pointed and sharp placoid scales used in polishing the wood and other materials. It is also used for covering the jewellery boxes and swords; Leather and artificial Pearls e.t.c.
Examples of Fish
- Cat fish
- Mud fish
- Dog fish, Nile perch, etc.
Now let us discuss in details the 8 uses of fish and fish products below:
1) Fish as Food
Fishes are consumed everyday by man, they are rich in protein and are delicious to taste. The protein in fish and shellfish is very easy to digest and research shows that the amino acids in fish are more bioavailable (your body can absorb and use them more readily) than beef, pork or chicken.
Fish and shellfish also have a balanced quantity of all of the essential amino acids, giving them very high Amino Acid Scores.
2) Fishes are Medicinal
It has been discovered that the consumption of fish can help to prevent various types of cancers, cardio-vascular diseases, skin, and hair problems, and they also help in keeping the brain stimulated. In traditional Chinese medicine, Sea horse, star fish, sea urchin and sea cucumber are used.
Fish can also assist in controlling diseases like malaria, yellow fever and other dreadful diseases that are spread through mosquitoes. For example, the Larvivorous fish eat larva of mosquito and the important larvivorous fish are Gambusia, Panchax, Haplochitus, Trichogaster.
3) Fishes as Source of Oil
Fish oil is oil derived from the tissues of oily fish which contains the omega-3 fatty acids.
4) Fish Glue
Fish glue is made by boiling the skin, bones and swim bladders of fish which has long been valued for its use in all manner of products.
5) Fish Fertilizer/Emulsion
Fish emulsion is a fertilizer emulsion that is produced from the fluid remains of fish processed for fish oil and fish meal industrially.
6) Fish as a Source of Animal Feed
Fish meal is a brown powder which is made from both the whole fish and the bones while offal is made from processed fish which used as a high-protein supplement in aquaculture feed.
7) Fish as a Source of Employment
Most farmers engage in the raising of fishes. They feed their families and pay their workers from the money realized after selling their fishes. The fish farmers use that as their own job, some specialize in catching fishes form the rivers, seas, oceans, lakes etc while others specialize in smoking, processing, freezing and packaging of the fishes.
Some farmers raise the fishes in the pond and sell them after they grow.
8) Fish as a Source of Income
The money realized from the sales of the fishes by the farmer becomes his/her income after sales because of this, fish also serves as a source of income not only to the farmer but also to his or her workers whom he pays for their services being rendered to the farm.
Products made from fish and fish processing waste are major sources of high-protein ingredients used by the animal feed and pet food industry, and of fish oil used for both human and animal consumption.
Fish and fish processing waste are also used to produce speciality feed ingredients for aquaculture feeds, fertilizers for agriculture and home gardening, pharmaceuticals, industrial products, such as chitin, baits, and other specialized products, such as fish leather and pearl essence.
Read Also: Introduction to Fish Farming