Fish waste for profit

The conference focused on utilising the whole fish The conference focused on utilising the whole fish
Industry Database

Fish waste for profit – maximising return: utilising the entire fish, the first IceFish Conference held on the first day of the Icelandic Fisheries Exhibition, provided delegates with a fascinating insight into the many products can be made from previously discarded parts of fish.

Thor Sigfusson, Managing Director of the Iceland Ocean Cluster (Sjavarklasinn) and Sigurjon Arason, Chief Engineer at MATIS opened the conference, which was held in association with MATIS.

Some of these products can be sold for very high prices. Fish skin, for example, as well as being turned into leather for belts, wallets, even whole garments, can also be used for medical bandages with a price tag of $150 per kg. Indeed one speaker said: ‘Give me the skin and throw the rest [of the fish] out!’

Prices for dried heads, bones and the liver of the fish were said to be approaching the price of fillets taken from cod and there were ‘huge opportunities’ in other industries for so-called fish by-products. To achieve these high prices, of course, the appropriate technology and logistics had to be available and the by-products had to be stored under the correct conditions and be cooled properly and bled on board the fishing vessels and kept cold on shore.

And this was posed problems. There to be space available for storing fish heads, for example, when all the available space on board was devoted to what had always been considered the main products.

Another relevant point made was that fishermen had to be financially compensated for bringing in these ‘new’ products which, since many of them were not yet mainstream products, was not always possible.

While the morning was devoted to whitefish, mostly cod, of course because of the importance of cod to the Icelandic fisheries industry, the afternoon sessions were devoted to pelagic farmed fish species and here Norwegian speakers told the delegates how more of this raw material was going to direct human consumption rather than to aquaculture or animal feed.

Farmed salmon seemed to be the ultimate in making the most use of the fish where only the blood is currently being discarded. The omega-3 industry was the biggest alternative use for farmed fish.

Latest Jobs

Dee Estuary Officer (Shellfish Officer)

Natural Resources Wales has responsibilities for a number of issues within the 13,680ha Dee estuary,... Read more


African Century Foods is a fully integrated tilapia producer with its own broodstock, hatchery, grow... Read more

Media Sales Executive

We are looking for an experienced Sales Executive to join our award winning B2B media company. Merc... Read more

Fishery Technical Officer - 7601

We are seeking four experienced technical fisheries officers to join our busy fisheries, biodiversit... Read more

Assistant Hatchery Manager

Marine Harvest is one of the largest seafood companies in the world, and the world’s largest produce... Read more

Events Sales Executive - Conferences

We are looking for an experienced & talented Sales Executive to join our award winning B2B media com... Read more

View all jobs