Prized commodity: Low value/trash fish from marine fisheries in the Asia-pacific region
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The use of the terms 'low value' and 'trash fish' varies across the Asia-Pacific region and can also change both seasonally and with location. This article defines low value/trash fish as 'Fish that have a low commercial value by virtue of their low quality, small size or low consumer preference. They are either used for human consumption (often processed or preserved) or used for livestock or fish food, either directly or through reduction to fish meal or fish oil'. Their usage across a sample of countries is compared (Bangladesh, China, India, Philippines, Thailand, Vietnam). There is increasing conflict between the use of low value/trash fish for livestock and fish feed and for human consumption. As a result of the expansion of aquaculture and local livestock production, low value/trash fish has a ready market and can be sold easily in many countries. The concern, to both fisheries and aquaculture, is that there is no way of knowing how sustainable this system is. Given the strong interdependency between capture fisheries and aquaculture in the Asia Pacific region, management of these two sub-sectors can no longer be carried out independently.