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      The proximate composition of three marine pelagic fish: blue whiting ( Micromesistius poutassou), boarfish ( Capros aper) and Atlantic herring ( Clupea harengus)

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          This study presents data from an in-depth proximate compositional analysis of three marine fish species: blue whiting (Micromesistius poutassou), boarfish (Capros aper) and Atlantic herring (Clupea harengus). These fish contained significant amounts of protein (16–17%), lipids (4–11%) and minerals (2–6% ash). The proteins, particularly from boarfish, had close to optimum amino acid profiles for human and fish nutrition. They compared favourably with other fish species in terms of total lipids and relative concentration of the omega-3 fatty acids docosahexaenoic acid and eicosapentaenoic acid (11.8–13.3% and 5.9–8.1% in triacylglycerols [TG] and 24.6–35.4% and 5.8–12.0% in phospholipids [PL]). Atlantic herring had the highest lipid content among the three fish and was found to contain high levels of PL poly-unsaturated fatty acids, including omega-3 fatty acids. Minerals detected in the fish included calcium (272–1,520 mg/100 g), phosphorus (363–789 mg/100 g), iron (1.07–2.83 mg/100 g), magnesium (40.70–62.10 mg/100 g), potassium (112.00–267.00 mg/100 g), selenium (0.04–0.06 mg/100 g), sodium (218.00–282.00 mg/100 g) and zinc (1.29–5.57 mg/100 g). Boarfish had the highest ash fraction and also the highest levels of all the minerals, except potassium. Atlantic herring had considerably lower mineral content compared with the other two species and, levels detected were also lower than those reported in previously published studies. Heavy metals contents were quantified, and levels were significantly below the maximum allowable limits for all elements except arsenic, which ranged from 1.34 to 2.44 mg/kg in the three fish species. Data outlined here will be useful for guiding product development. Future studies would benefit from considering catch season, sex and developmental stage of the fish.

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          Low-trophic level species account for more than 30% of global fisheries production and contribute substantially to global food security. We used a range of ecosystem models to explore the effects of fishing low-trophic level species on marine ecosystems, including marine mammals and seabirds, and on other commercially important species. In five well-studied ecosystems, we found that fishing these species at conventional maximum sustainable yield (MSY) levels can have large impacts on other parts of the ecosystem, particularly when they constitute a high proportion of the biomass in the ecosystem or are highly connected in the food web. Halving exploitation rates would result in much lower impacts on marine ecosystems while still achieving 80% of MSY.
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                Author and article information

                Irish Journal of Agricultural and Food Research
                Compuscript (Ireland )
                18 December 2020
                1School of Microbiology, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
                2School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
                3Teagasc, Food Centre, Moorepark, Fermoy, Co. Cork, Ireland
                4Environmental Research Institute, University College Cork, Cork, Ireland
                5Biomarine Ingredients Ireland Ltd., Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan, Ireland
                6APC Microbiome Ireland, Cork, Ireland
                Author notes
                †Corresponding author: C. Stanton, E-mail: catherine.stanton@
                Copyright © 2020 Egerton, Mannion, Culloty, Whooley, Stanton, and Ross

                This work is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs license CC BY-NC-ND 3.0 IE.

                Page count
                Figures: 3, Tables: 7, References: 87, Pages: 16
                Original Study


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