Aquaculture for all

A New Approach to Fishmeal Production

Nutrition Post-harvest

GENERAL - In the context of overfishing and the need for continued use of fishmeal, the economical use of fishery by-products from tuna-fisheries has gained importance.

This is gaining more ground on the basis that high quality trash-fish is a major compound in the production process of high-value animal- and aqua-feeds, says Dr Karsten Schroeder, Addcon Asia. According to him, even though the ratio of fishmeal inclusion in modern feed formulations is continuously reduced in favour of other protein carriers, the tantamount importance of well preserved Industrial fish as the precursor to fishmeal must not be neglected.

Tuna-fisheries is exclusively aiming at high value cuts, most famous as ‘sashimi'; yet other parts are well recognized and yield high prices at the world market, among others as canned products. About 40 per cent of the fish however is used -as by-product from processing- for the production of fish meal only.

As it has been the custom since generations in Asian countries, whole round tunas are being frozen at about -20°C for compliance with high import standards and regulations imposed by markets overseas, among those most importantly Europe, Japan and the US. However, the fact that industrial fish intended for fishmeal production does not require the same postharvest standards apparently has been overlooked for quite some time.

By freezing head, tail, innards and other body parts goes on account of storage volume in the ice hold/ cold storage of the fishing vessel. Additional expenditures in terms of energy costs for freezing and the pre-cooking process (before the fish go to the fish cannery) are encountered needlessly.

This means giving away a sizable profit that is quite easy to attain by using FishFormPlus, an efficient preservative from ADDCON, leading the way for preservation of valuable raw materials.

In the sardine-processing and canning industries, by-products are mostly derived as residues from the canning process and as rejects, being off size or too small. While the first is processed into head-and-tail fishmeal, the latter -as the product of whole round fish- yields high prices on the national market due to its high protein content.

Additionally, unexpected big catches at times yield sardine volumes that can not be processed by the canneries in due time, therefore being used as raw materials for high-protein content fishmeal production.

In all cases, maintaining relative freshness during the post -fishing-operation process, particularly on transit from fishing ground to the port is dearly paid with high costs for chilling through ice application.

ADDCON say they see high potentials for the application of Fishform Plus as a valid and economical very viable alternative for guaranteeing the high quality of fish meal as a precursor for prime animal- and aqua-feeds.