Saving anchovies with plant-based omega oils

Anchovy
© iStock/Spondylolithesis

A select group of farmers have pioneered production of Ahiflower — the best plant-derived source of healthy omegas in over 50 years, to be used as an alternative to fish oil.

Omegas are essential for every cell in our bodies — especially joints, brain, heart, and immune system. Humans must obtain them from their diets and increasingly are deficient in them, with over 80% of westerners believed to have insufficient intake. Over 80% of all omegas come from fish oil, primarily from anchovies and sardines, which are the most important link in the ocean food chain. They feed on phytoplankton and become a primary source of food for virtually all higher species, including dolphins and seabirds.

In 2009 a farmers club was formed to pioneer commercial production of this native weed species in the UK, turning it into a prolific and beneficial agricultural crop. Initially yields were less than 100kg/Ha, and 2019 saw record yields of over 2,000kg/Ha, comparable to many other oil crops such as flax. These record crop yields provide as much oil per hectare as nearly 1.0 million anchovies, demonstrating a genuinely sustainable and scientifically verified alternative to fish oil.

Every year, millions of tons of these fish are caught, crushed, and their omega-rich oil is extracted for dietary supplements. According to FAO, 90% of the world’s fisheries are either exploited, fully exploited, or depleted.

Ahiflower oil, developed by Nature’s Crops International has by far the richest, most complete & balanced essential omega fatty acid content of any plant seed which is pressed for the omega-rich oil.

Speaking at the recent Regenerative Earth Summit in Colorado, NCI’s CEO Andrew Hebard announced Ahiflower’s Million Acre Initiative. For every acre of Ahiflower crop grown annually, NCI will contribute $5 to specific ocean conservancy causes, including ocean plastic clean-up.

Hebard also noted, “These crucial forage fish in our oceans go largely ‘sight unseen,’ yet so many marine species need them and we have to be more aware of the damage we are doing to the oceans. We passionately believe that plant-based Ahiflower oil is part of the solution.”

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