Here’s one more reason that we should not eat all of the fish and make the oceans uninhabitable for them. We need their poop to help fight climate change.
You see, in the typology of poop, it turns out the fish feces are sinkers. Tiny fish like anchovy hang out near the surface and eat algae. Then they poop. In that poop, there’s a certain amount of sequestered carbon, which then sinks to the bottom of the ocean. (You may remember this phenomenon from your childhood goldfish tank.) Discovery:
Fish feces travel fast. Grace Saba of Rutgers University and Deborah Steinberg of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science found that anchovies’ dung drops approximately 2,500 feet per day.
Once at the bottom of the ocean, the feces and the carbon trapped therein stay there, instead of going into the atmosphere and heating up the planet even more. And while, yes, each little piece of fish dung is quite small, there are a lot of fish and they poop a lot. It adds up.
- Fish feces fight climate change, Discovery
Get Grist in your inbox