The short answer is: yes. Fish have kidneys and they produce urine, which contains things like creatine, urea, ammonia, and nitrogenous waste.
The longer answer is: yes AND fish pee is important.
Fish pee is especially important to coral reefs. When fish urinate, they release phosphorus and ammonium, which are two key elements for coral reef growth and survival. A new study found that in coral reefs where fishing occurs, many key nutrients are missing because there are fewer big fish peeing on the reef. In areas with less fishing and more large, predator fish, nutrient levels were healthy.
“Part of the reason coral reefs work is because animals play a big role in moving nutrients around,” lead author Jacob Allgeier, a postdoctoral researcher at the University of Washington’s School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, explained in a news release.
“Fish hold a large proportion, if not most of the nutrients in a coral reef in their tissue, and they’re also in charge of recycling them. If you take the big fish out, you’re removing all of those nutrients from the ecosystem.”
To learn more:
- Read the UW news release: Big fish — and their pee — are key parts of coral reef ecosystems
- Read the full study: Fishing down nutrients on coral reefs
Copyright © 2016 by Marine Science Today, a publication of Marine Science Today LLC.