New Use For Fish Waste –

New Use For Fish Waste European Fish Trader Published:  14 May, 2002

Fish waste could become a valuable gardening commodity

NEW research published by the Sea Fish Industry Authority suggests that seafood processors could find a profitable outlet for their fish waste.

Seafood business carry heavy costs for waste disposal despite the fact that the discarded fish from the filleting process – including heads, bones and tails – is a resource with great potential and rich in valuable minerals, pigments and flavours.

A recent Seafish report considered various options for fish waste and now researchers have identified the production of compost as one of the most promising ideas. A more in-depth study is now assessing the costs and benefits of compost manufacture from fish waste.

“As the waste from fish processing is so rich in minerals it can be extremely good material for composting,” says Seafish technologist Michaela Archer.

“We’re looking into whether this could be a simple and cost-effective solution for the seafood industry. We hope to develop a high quality product for the horticultural industry, agricultural and domestic markets.”

The latest study is likely to include the set up of a small-scale production unit.

“This project is just part of a major programme of Seafish work on fish waste handling and disposal,” says Michaela Archer.

“The ultimate aim is to encourage the commercial uptake of a range of fish waste derived products. This can be achieved by developing links between the fish industry, the developers of waste utilisation technology and the markets for the products. We would like to hear from anyone interested in being involved in the process.”

•The compost industry in the UK is a multi-million pound industry, with 5.3 million cubic metres of commercial compost used by gardeners each year.