Pharma Marine’s LipidMarine™ product range is based on mainly fish oil from sardine and anchovy. These fishes are small, form large schools and are preys for a high variety of other species. In Latin countries these small fishes with intense taste are known as blue fish and are very appreciated by their nutritional properties.
Atlantic sardines (Sardina pilchardus) are fish with a size up to 25 cm, living close to the coast at 25-55 meters depth at the North Atlantic European and African coast. They eat zooplankton and larger organisms and have a high growth rate, with 90% of their maximum size in the first year. Sardines have a relatively long life compared with their size, as they live 10-12 years and reach reproductive maturity at 1-2 years. They can lay 400,000 eggs per year depending on the conditions. Sardines are one of the most important species for canning industry, and the generation of by-products is a problem solved by the production of fish meal and fish oil.
Peruvian anchovy or anchoveta (Engraulis ringens) is one of the most important fish resources in the world. It is a pelagic fish living at 80 km of the coast of Peru and Chile at 50 meters depth. There they feed by filtration of the rich plankton present in that area of the Pacific Ocean. They can reach a size of 20 cm, maturity after 1 year and have a lifespan of 3 years. The Peruvian anchovy have a strong dependence on El Niño phenomenon, with sharp decreases in the number of captures in the years it is taking place. Actually there have been peaks of more than 10 million tons and decreases to less than 2 million tons.
Besides the Peruvian anchovy, the European anchovy (Engraulis encrasicolus) is also used in some LipidMarine™ products. This fish is present in the European and North African coasts, Mediterranean and Black Sea. They live close to the coast at 300-400 meters, forming big schools. They eat mainly zooplankton by filtration. As in the case of anchoveta, they reach maturity with 1 year and have a lifespan of 3 years. They can produce 200,000 eggs and the season for spawning is long, starting in April and ending in November. The differences in the habitat and food can give differences in fatty acid profiles compared with the Peruvian anchovy. Despite their short life, anchovies have a diet more adaptable than sardines and are less vulnerable to environmental conditions.
Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO)