Colagen, a product used in cosmetic cream, is extracted from tilapia skin. (Photo: Stockfile)
Cosmetic industry would help to triple tilapia skin exports
Tuesday, December 04, 2012, 03:50 (GMT + 9)
The company Aquafinca Saint Peter Fish estimates that this year it will export tilapia skin for the cosmetic industry worth USD 600,000.
This raw material is widely accepted by France, Italy and other European countries, which require large volumes to produce cosmetics and fragrances.
Currently, Honduras exports about 250,000 kilograms of tilapia skin to Europe.
And according to the company forecasts, in 2013 it could be possible to export about 700,000 kilograms of tilapia skin.
In this regard, Orlando Delgado, Aquafinca manager, the only product exporting company in the country, explains that the skin of the fish is processed for the production of collagen, which is then used in Italian cream.
"For next year we have conducted preliminary negotiations with a company in France, so we are calculating a substantial increase in shipments, which will almost triple," the executive added.
Also, the entrepreneur indicated that not only tilapia skin is exported but also the scales, mainly to the Asian market for the cosmetic and pharmaceutical industries.
"It's an interesting issue, these are sub-products obtained from tilapia, which are 100 per cent used. We export the scales to the Asian market, especially to Thailand, and they are also used for obtaining collagen and gel ampoules for the pharmaceutical industry," he added.
After processing tilapia, biodiesel and fishmeal are also produced and used "as a concentrate for other animals, so the industry does not waste anything," Delgado explained.
According to the data provided by the Directorate General of Fisheries and Aquaculture (Digepesca), in the northwest area, small tilapia producers are generating 278,000 pounds monthly.
Furthermore, Roger Hernandez, regional director of the agency of the Secretariat of Agriculture and Livestock (SAG) pointed out that the production is sold to the local market.
"Currently, Digepesca is offering technical assistance and guidance on financing with banks, and soon we will have meetings with private banks to guide them on loans they may acquire to expand their projects," he concluded.
This year, Honduras sent the US 31 per cent of the imports of fresh tilapia fillets of this country, becoming the main supplier. It was followed by Ecuador, with a 30 per cent share; Costa Rica, with 24 per cent and Colombia, with 11 per cent.
According to Delgado, "reaching 18.1 million pounds of tilapia fillets is very positive for the country, as it surpassed Ecuador in one million, since this country only sent 17.1 million pounds this year," reported La Prensa.
- Promising future for tilapia exporter
By Analia Murias