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Humans have utilized fish for many reasons, not the least among them is food. Fish have been a staple part of the human diet since the dawn of history and remains an economically important food source to this day. But food isn’t the only thing that fish and other aquatic creatures are used for. Many unusual products and substances have been extracted from fish, showcasing both their durability and the ingenuity of the humans who caught them.
Certain products made from fish involve actively harvesting or raising the fish specifically for this purpose, whereas a myriad of fish products are derived from what would otherwise be considered waste in fish processing. Many products, like glues, gelatin, and pearlescence (used in makeup) are derived from fish by-products such as bones, offal, and scales that would otherwise be discarded.
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Fish skins also have their uses; in some cultures, shark skin has been used as sandpaper while the skins of rays and other sufficiently large fish can be used as a type of leather for shoes and other leather craft.
Products directly derived from specifically caught fish include fish liver oil, which is used as a health supplement, and fish meal, used as an additive to animal food and fertilizer.
Regardless of their use, fish offer more than just a good meal. This article discusses many more unexpected uses of fish.
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