Currently, fish waste and residues are primarily intended for the production of fish meal and oil. (Photo: Anfaco/Stock File/FIS)
Search for technological solutions to take advantage of discards begins
Monday, February 07, 2011, 00:20 (GMT + 9)
The National Association of Canned Fish and Shellfish (Anfaco-Cecopesca) has initiated a project to make the most out of discards and fish waste, which account for between 10 per cent and 60 per cent of catches by European vessels.
In the Mediterranean alone, it is estimated that trawlers discard between 20 and 70 per cent of their catch, a figure that grows greater with the depth of the trawling.
Anfaco aims to find solutions that ensure the sustainability of the fisheries sector from an environmental and economical stand point.
"Currently, fish waste and residues are primarily intended for the production of fish meal and fish oil, generating products with various applications but with a low economic value," says the Association.
For the supporters of the initiative, funded by the Ministry of Environment, Rural and Marine Affairs (MARM) through its Directorate General of Fisheries Management, will divert the fish by-products to obtain higher value-added compounds to help increase the value of the same raw material and at the same time, contribute to greater use.
With this project, Anfaco also expects that they will be able to obtain bioactive substances that can be used in food, cosmetics and the pharmaceutical industry.
"Discards are those species which are caught but end up being thrown back into the sea as sometimes it is not profitable to keep the fish on board," said the Association.
"On other occasions, they accompany the main catches and have little or no market value, so they do not make any profit. For its part, fish waste can be generated on board or ashore after processing marine species," Anfaco added.
By Analia Murias