It is estimated that the Galician fishing fleet discards about 10,000 tonnes of crustaceans that could be profitable. (Photo: SIC)
Business utilities give value to discarded species
Wednesday, October 05, 2011, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
A team of researchers from the Centre for Scientific Research (CSIC) endorsed the marketability of discarded resources by the Galician fishing fleet, which annually account for about 10,000 tonnes valued at about EUR 2 million.
According to the scientific report, the portunid crab (Macropipus tuberculatus), the blue-leg swimming crab (Liocarcinus depurator), the squad lobster (Munida spp.) and the swimming crab (Polybius henslowii), which are discarded by fishing boats working in Gran Sol, on the Northwest national Cantabrian ground and on the coast of Portugal, can be used in food preparation, cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
This research is funded by Xunta de Galicia and led by the Cooperative of Shipowners of the Port of Vigo (ARVI). Besides, Serviguide consultancy and shipping companies, fishing industry and gastronomic firms participate in it, the agency Europa Press reported.
Pilot tests conducted so far include:
- Shellfish meal manufacture for aquaculture, both made with molluscs and sea urchins;
- The creation of cooking recipes for human consumption, especially from krill, with "interesting culinary possibilities;"
- The extraction of chitin-chitosan from exoskeletons of crustaceans, which contain antimicrobial substances that are useful for the preparation of medicine, cosmetics, water treatment and biomedical materials;
- The extraction of carotenoid pigments, mainly astaxanatina, a compound that is responsible for the coloration of plant and animal food with antioxidant properties and may help prevent certain diseases.
According to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO), some European fleets discard up to 70 per cent of their catch in EU waters because they are not commercially valuable resources.
"With the results of the investigation, it appears that there are different ways to value and use the discards from the four shellfish as raw material," said the study coordinator, Ricardo Pérez.
Currently, the high levels of discards do not have an applicable commercial value but "with this type of research, it is shown that they can become attractive to fleets that can have benefits," he added.
By Analia Murias