Cat with fish

Cats love fish! Credit:


Fish Radio

Cats eat more fish than humans

August 6, 2014

This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch – Are pampered cats contributing to overfishing? I’ll tell you more after this –

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 Cat owners who feed their pets with fish are contributing to overfishing and threatening fish stocks worldwide, say Australian researchers. Reports from Deakin University say the global cat food industry consumes nearly 5.5 billion pounds of forage fish that comprise a critical part of the food chain for larger fish, plus sea mammals and birds. The fish include sardines, capelin, anchovy and herring.  

 And pampered cats eat far more fish than people do. In Australia, each pet cat consumes an estimated 30 pounds of fish per year, well above the human per capita consumption of 24 pounds; seafood consumption in the U.S. is roughly 16 pounds per person. The Australian study says the global pet food industry is increasingly marketing luxury fish products that contain a significant amount of fish that may be suitable for humans.

The question that pops into my mind is what are the cats actually eating. If they are suggesting they are going out to catch fish to feed the cats, or are the cats eating the byproduct that is left over after it’s processed for human consumption.

Brett Gibson is owner/operator of Anchorage-based Arctic Paws, which produces Yummie Chummy pet treats, oils and other products. By law, a “95%” rule applies to pet products made primarily of meat, poultry or fish, meaning at least 95% must be the named ingredient on pet food labels. Arctic Paws uses over one million pounds of pink salmon each year from Valdez hatcheries. Gibson agrees that more pet owners are being more discriminate in their pet food purchases and wild salmon leads the pack. Arctic Paws products have expanded nationwide to Target, PetCo, WalMart, CostCo and more. Check it out at


Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods – who salutes and says thanks to the men and women fishing across Alaska for their hard work and dedication. ( In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.