Researchers believe unknown fish species could be the food and medicine of the future

Polar codPolar cod.Photo: Jan-Morten Bjørnbakk / NTB scanpix

There is disagreement among scientists about whether unknown fish species could replace the polar cod in the dining arena, or be used for medicine. Below and around the Arctic ice there are at least 635 unique fish stocks that researchers know little or nothing about reported  Klassekampen newspaper.

 

Currently, only the polar bear is commercially viable, but now interest in other species is increasing. In a few years, arctic fish such as the common seasnail, snakeblenny, and Vahl’s eelpout could become food or medicine.

‘The fish could contain bioactive substances, and chemical structures that we need for medicines, health foods, or animal feed. In addition, the world’s populace will also need protein and fat in the future,’ said Ragnhild Whitaker,
of Nofima, one of Europe’s largest nutritional research institutes.

Professor Jørgen Schou Christiansen of Arctic and Marine Biology, Norway’s Arctic University, believes that the unknown species should be left alone.

‘If we take cod and the species we harvest today, the commercial interest uses about 10% of all species in the north.

So we mustn’t fish for the others. The greatest task is to keep other fish, birds, or marine mammals alive’, said Christiansen.

©  NTB Scanpix / Norway Today

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