The globalization and rationalization of the markets have also led to the intensive use and long-distance transport of fishmeal, made from fish edible to humans but used to feed animals, including pets.
Every year, 30 million tons of small fish (anchovies, sardines, mackerel, herring, hake, sand eels, sprats, poor cod) are processed into meal or oil to be used as feed for chickens, pigs and fish with high commercial value. A large proportion of fishmeal is made from anchovies from Peru, whose stocks are under great pressure, and then sent around the world.
Chickens and pigs alone consume six times more fish than all U.S. consumers put together. A large quantity of fish is also used in pet food and to feed animals raised for fur. According to a recent study by an Australian university, cats alone consume some 5.3 million tonnes of fish (low estimate, not including China).
Production and demand of fishmeal are constantly increasing, to date the biggest consumer is China.