Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?



Fish Oil Diet Could Curb Greenhouse Gases From Cow Farts


Irish scientists have discovered that adding just a small amount of fish oil to the diet of cattle can vastly reduce the amount of methane produced by, ahem…cow farts.

Climate scientists have long known that, pound for pound, methane is 20 times more powerful than carbon dioxide at trapping the suns rays, making it a highly potent greenhouse gas. An incredible 900 billion tonnes of the noxious fumes are produced each year by methanogen bacteria that live in the digestive systems of ruminants such as cattle, sheep and goats.

Now the team, from University College Dublin (UCD), have figured out that including just 2 percent fish oil in the bovine diet can drastically reduce flatulence, largely due to the omega 3 fatty acids in the oil. In fact, in an experiment with three cows, methane output was cut by a remarkable 21 percent.

Speaking about the results, UCD researcher Lorraine Lillis said, “The fish oil affects the methane-producing bacteria in the rumen part of the cow’s gut, leading to reduced emissions. Understanding which microbial species are particularly influenced by changes in diet and relating them to methane production could bring about a more targeted approach to reducing methane emissions in animals.”

However, she also highlighted a possible shortcoming of the scheme saying, “There may be some trade-off as fish oil is expensive and difficult to get” and could put undue pressure on fish populations.

Image Credit – foxypar4 via flickr

Appreciate CleanTechnica’s originality? Consider becoming a CleanTechnica Member, Supporter, Technician, or Ambassador — or a patron on Patreon.
Have a tip for CleanTechnica, want to advertise, or want to suggest a guest for our CleanTech Talk podcast? Contact us here.
Written By

is a writer and freelance journalist specialising in sustainability and green issues. He lives in Cardiff, Wales.


#1 most loved electric vehicle, solar energy, and battery news & analysis site in the world.


Support our work today!


Power CleanTechnica: $3/Month

Tesla News Solar News EV News Data Reports


EV Sales Charts, Graphs, & Stats


Our Electric Car Driver Report

30 Electric Car Benefits

Tesla Model 3 Video

Renewable Energy 101 In Depth

solar power facts

Tesla News

EV Reviews

Home Efficiency

You May Also Like

Climate Change

Aggressive action to slash methane pollution could slow global warming by as much as 30%, new research shows. The study, in press at the...

Climate Change

Less than three years after California governor Jerry Brown said the state would launch “our own damn satellite” to track pollution in the face...


Polestar is a bit different than most car companies. By that I mean that its particular brand of progressivism and sustainability seems to come...

Clean Transport

Methane leaks are a major problem in the US and beyond. In order to better identify and track greenhouse gas leaks in the country,...

Copyright © 2021 CleanTechnica. The content produced by this site is for entertainment purposes only. Opinions and comments published on this site may not be sanctioned by and do not necessarily represent the views of CleanTechnica, its owners, sponsors, affiliates, or subsidiaries.