Fish Radio
Thanksgiving tribute
November 27, 2014       

Dried, gutted sea cucumbers at a medicine emporium in Japan Credit:

Dried, gutted sea cucumbers at a medicine emporium in Japan

 This is Fish Radio. I’m Laine Welch… Everyone knows that eating fish is good for your health. But there’s so much more to seafood than just putting it in your mouth. More after this –

  Know what the second leading cause of death is among commercial fisherman? Falling overboard. Know what would have saved many of them? Personal Flotation Devices. Today’s PFDs are built to be comfortable, stay out of your way and keep you from drowning. Find the right PFD for you at

 Interested in being an unofficial seafood ambassador? Sign on to the ASMI data base at 


At this time of giving thanks, let’s not overlook the miracles from the deep. Sponge Bob, for example, could be the next rage in fiber optics. Researchers at Bell Labs have found that a certain type of sponge grows a network of glass fibers far more advanced than any found in today’s telecommunications networks.

New Zealand researchers have found that adding fish oil to animal feed reduces the release of methane gas by 25 to 40 percent in sheep. More than 20 percent of global methane emissions come from farm animals. It is a potent greenhouse gas that traps nearly 20 times as much heat as carbon dioxide.

For hundreds of years Asian cultures have used jellyfish to treat arthritis, high blood pressure and back pain. Some jellyfish have a special bio-luminescence useful in medical research.            

Chitin, a substance found in the shells of crab, shrimp and other crustaceans, is packed with medical miracles. The carbohydrate that makes up chitin bonds with red blood cells to form an artificial clot, and seals massive bleeding wounds in just 30 seconds shrimp based bandages are now being used by our troops in Iraq and Afghanistan

Ground up shrimp shells stirred into a nasal spray are being tested in England as a treatment for allergies and hay fever.

 Russian researchers have created a product from enzymes in king crab shells that helps heal severe burns. They say sea urchin pigment is remarkable for its anti-oxidant, anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.

From sea cucumbers comes the basis of a new immunity enhancing drug; another from brown seaweed reduces damage from radiation exposure.

The venom of the cone snail is being used as the basis to treat severe chronic pain that doesn’t respond to other treatment. Just a few micrograms is said to be one thousand times more potent than morphine. A drug made from the snail toxin was approved a few years ago in the U.S.

Also from the ‘sea pharmacy’ — close to 15 drugs derived from marine organisms are in various stages of testing for cancer treatments. The lowly sea squirt appears to be especially promising.  

Be thankful for the fish! In Kodiak, I’m Laine Welch.

           Fish Radio is also brought to you by Ocean Beauty Seafoods. Ocean Beauty has contributed over 10 million meals to the U.S. Food Bank network, and is committed to ending hunger in America.