Some years ago, the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture undertook a study of the nutrient profile of the leading species of
cultivated and wild fish and shellfish. Some data from that work were published, but information on fatty acids was not
included. This paper presents data on the fat, cholesterol and major fatty acid content of cultivated and wild channel catfish
(Ictalurus punctatus), rainbow trout (Salmo gairdneri), and coho salmon (Oncorynchus kisutch). Two samples of each
species were obtained from the wild at two different seasons, reflecting differences in spawning status; three samples of
cultivated channel catfish and rainbow trout plus two of coho salmon were obtained at peak season to coincide with one of
the sampling times of the wild samples. Analyses were conducted on raw and cooked fillets. Fatty acids were determined by
gas-liquid chromatography. Fat content of cultivated catfish and salmon ranged from 2.5-5 times that of wild samples; fat
levels in wild and cultivated trout were similar. Monounsaturates predominated in cultivated catfish and salmon but not
trout. Differences in fatty acid profile between wild and cultivated fish were greatest among polyunsaturates; linoleic acid
was substantially higher in all cultivated samples than in wild fish. Omega-3 fatty acid levels were related to species and
were higher in cultivated than wild samples owing to higher fat content. Data do not support the notion that wild fish are
higher in omega-3 fatty acids than cultivated fish.
Nettleton, J.A. Fatty Acids in Cultivated and Wild Fish. Microbehavior and Macroresults:Proceedings of the Tenth Biennial Conference of the International Institute ofFisheries Economics and Trade, July 10-14, 2000, Corvallis, Oregon, USA.Compiled by Richard S. Johnston and Ann L. Shriver. InternationalInstitute of Fisheries Economics and Trade (IIFET), Corvallis, 2001.