We have estimated the average number of wild fishes caught for reduction to fishmeal and fish oil each year, for 2007 to 2016, to be between 460 and 1,100 billion* (ie between 460,000,000,000 and 1,100,000,000,000 fishes) or between 0.5 and 1 trillion to the nearest significant figure. See the results of our estimate of fishmeal fishes here.

We have also estimated that the 4.7 million tonnes of fisheries capture (according to the FAO) used for other non-food purposes each year, may comprise 0.1 to 0.3 trillion fishes. Full details of our estimate are available here.

Since fish capture is likely to cause slow and distressing deaths, the capture of feed fish therefore presents a major animal welfare issue both in scale and in terms of proportionate use of sentient animals.

Our earlier 2012 study to estimate numbers of farmed fish (see subpages below) also estimated that, on average each year for 2005-2009, between 0.45 and 1.0 trillion* (ie 450,000,000,000 – 1,000,000,000,000) wild fish were caught for reduction to fish oil and fishmeal, mainly used to feed farmed fish. See the results of our previous estimate of fishmeal fishes here.



* rounded to 2 significant figures.