Crustacean shells constitute a relevant source of chitin and chitosan. (Photo: Stock File)
Fish waste can be used to make a lot of money: expert
Tuesday, October 25, 2011, 22:40 (GMT + 9)
Fishery waste holds myriad treasures, according to Dr MM Prasad, the scientist-in-charge of the Central Institute of Fisheries Technology (CIFT), Vizag centre. For that reason, he encourages entrepreneurs to extract the many valuable and useful by-products from fish waste to make a killing.
Many valuable ingredients, such as chitin and chitosan, can be found in the waste -- and many useful by-products can be made out of them for application in different fields.
Chitin and chitosan are derived from the shells of prawns and crabs, and it is believed that interest in these ingredients will surpass that of seafood products in the coming years, mainly due to surging applications and rising demand from the agrochemicals and medical/health care end-use sectors in Asia-Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East, Prasad detailed, Deccan Chronicle reports.
He thus heartened entrepreneurs to set up more facilities where these ingredients can be pulled out of fishery waste, arguing that the necessary technology is now available to make full use of fisheries waste and thus formulate valuable by-products, Business Line reports.
Prasad made his case while speaking at a one-day seminar on the issue hosted at the institute last week.
There he said that estimates indicate that some 8.5 million tonnes of seafood is being produced in the country, with shrimp processing constituting one of the main sources of industrial fish waste at more than 100,000 tonnes. While business worth many billion dollars could be shaped out of the situation, at present a mere 38 units are operating in the country, Prasad explained.
He noted that an urgent need exists to educate entrepreneurs on the great potential of the field and the paths that can be taken within it.
“We will provide you the technology. There is a great demand for chitin, chitosan and glucosamine in the international market. The entrepreneurs should come forward and set up units,” he urged.
V Padmanabham, president of the AP unit of the Seafood Exporters' Association of India (SEAI), said the creation of waste is set to keep growing as a result of continuing growth in the processing sector, and therefore more units should be built to dispose of the waste.
Dr G Maheswarudu, scientist in charge of the local branch of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute (CMFRI), said young entrepreneurs should investigate the field and see how they can make a fortune out of fish waste.
By Natalia Real