LAB GROWN FISH (Syllabus: GS Paper 3 – Sci and Tech)

News-CRUX-10     30th January 2024        
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Context: ICAR-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) has entered into a collaborative research agreement with a private sector startup seeking cultivated technology solutions to grow fish meat in the laboratory.

Lab Grown Fish Project:

  • About: A research project to develop lab-grown fish meat has been undertaken by the Indian Council of Agricultural Research (ICAR)-Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI) for the first time in India.
  • Aim: To establish India in the field of cultured marine fish meat, thereby addressing the growing seafood demand and reducing excessive pressure on wild resources.

Lab Grown fish:

  • About: It is merely a type of lab-grown-or cultivated/cultured meat. Seafood without the sea is 'grown' in the same way as other cultivated meats are grown - without the need to raise and kill an animal.
  • Produced by: Isolating specific cells from fish and growing them in a laboratory setting using media that is free of animal components. 

oThe final product is expected to replicate the flavour, texture, and nutritional qualities of 'real' fish meat.

  • Countries growing lab fish: Israel is the frontrunner, followed by Singapore, the United States, and China.

Need to Grow Fish Meat in the Laboratory

  • Solution to Overfishing: Ongoing experiments worldwide aim to create commercially viable lab-grown fish meat to meet the increasing demand for seafood and alleviate pressure on wild resources.
  • Marine Ecosystem Impact: Overfishing has led to a decline in fish populations, affecting entire marine ecosystems. Lab-grown fish meat offers a potential solution to this environmental challenge.
  • Reducing Environmental Impact: Lab-grown fish meat is anticipated to be free from antibiotics and environmental contaminants. It also avoids contact with microplastics and heavy metals found in polluted seas and oceans.
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