So, population growth means more mouths to
feed. We eat a lot of fish, but the oceans aren’t getting any bigger and most of the
fish we consume is now farmed. That includes salmon, an important source of long-chain
omega 3 fatty acids that keep us healthy. But in order to maintain high levels of omega
3s, salmon and other fish are raised on a diet of fish food that is sourced from the
ocean which could damage the ocean in the future. Get it? But what if we could get the
long chain omega 3s we need into fish food using, you guessed it… plants.
If researchers take the right genes out of omega 3 producing algae in the sea, and put
them into an oil-producing land plant called Camelina, then we could grow the food that
farmed fish need to be rich in omega 3s. Scientists in the UK are working on this, and the impact
could be massive. We could get omega 3 from a more sustainable source without depleting
the oceans. That is one way scientists are making plants do amazing things.