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Gyula Derkovits, still-life with fish (1928)

Fish and fish products are consumed as food all over the world. With other seafoods, it provides the world's prime source of high-quality protein: 14–16 percent of the animal protein consumed worldwide. Over one billion people rely on fish as their primary source of animal protein.[1][2]

Fish and other aquatic organisms are also processed into various food and non-food products.



In Ancient Roman society, garum, a type of fish sauce condiment, was popular.

Sharkskin and rayskin which are covered with, in effect, tiny teeth (dermal denticles) were used for the purposes that sandpaper currently is. These skins are also used to make leather. Sharkskin leather is used in the manufacture of hilts of traditional Japanese swords. Some other species of fish are also used to make 'fish leather', though this is relatively uncommon.

The flesh of many fish are primarily valued as a source of food; there are many edible species of fish, and many fish produce edible roe. Other marine life taken as food includes shellfish, crustaceans, and sea cucumber. Sea plants such as kombu are used in some regional cuisine.

Processed fish products

  • Surimi refers to a Japanese food product intended to mimic the meat of lobster, crab, and other shellfish. It is typically made from white-fleshed fish (such as pollock or hake) that has been pulverized to a paste and attains a rubbery texture when cooked.
  • Fish meal is made from both whole fish and the bones and offal from processed fish. It is a brown powder or cake obtained by rendering pressing the whole fish or fish trimmings to remove the fish oil. It used as a high-protein supplement in aquaculture feed.
  • Fish sauce is a condiment that is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces.
  • Tatami iwashi is a Japanese processed food product made from baby sardines laid out and dried while entwined in a single layer to form a large mat-like sheet.

Other processed products

  • Kelp is a major source of iodine, can be used as fertilizer, and kelp ash can be used in soap and glass production.

Live Fish & Pets

Fish may also be collected live for research, observation, or for the aquarium trade.


  1. ^ World Health Organization.
  2. ^ Tidwell, James H. and Allan, Geoff L.
  3. ^ Moghadasian MH (May 2008). "Advances in dietary enrichment with n-3 fatty acids". Crit Rev Food Sci Nutr 48 (5): 402–10. doi:10.1080/10408390701424303. PMID 18464030.  

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