Mink fur. (Photo Credit: Libricool)
The mink industry is important market for fish waste
Tuesday, November 05, 2013, 03:20 (GMT + 9)
Although an increasing amount of fish waste is used as raw material in valuable product manufacture, Norwegian fishing vessels continue dumping thousands of tonned into the sea, mainly due to the lack of freezing capacity.
This fish waste dump is perfectly legal even though it implies the resources taken from the sea are not being used well, as it was reported by Terje Engoe in an article published in KystMagasinet.
In the report Seafood 2025 - How to Create the World's Wild Fish Industry, which was published in March this year by the Fisheries and Aquaculture Industry Association (FHL), it is stated that the fishing fleet dumps 35 per cent of its waste, amounting to 196,000 tonnes.
According to Michael Lodahl, one of the founders of cold store premises of the Thyborøn port, in Denmark, if this waste was frozen in blocks and collected in cold stores along the coast, it would be worth at least NOK 400 million (USD 66.9 million).
“We currently have around 5,500 tonnes of frozen fish waste in storage that we have received from Iceland. From this country, we get around 25,000 tonnes of waste annually,” explains Lodahl, who is now interested in making contact with Norwegian companies that can freeze waste.
In the entrepreneur’s view, the problem is logistics but he considers that the waste can be recovered by boat by gathering loads of about a thousand tonnes at a time in order to achieve profitability in logistics.
The cold store premises in Thyborøn supplies waste to the Danish firm Dansk Pelsdyr Foder A.m.b.a, which uses it as feed for mink and fox. The company produces 99 per cent of the fur lining used in Denmark.
The Norwegian Fur Breeders annually produce about 600,000 mink and fox furs, which represent 160,000 tons annually. In Denmark, where there are 1,400 mink farms, 15 million mink skins are produced per year.
In Norway, farmed fur animal producers purchase almost 50,000 tonnes of waste from fish poultry and meat production, stated the Norwegian Fur Breeders on their web site.
Fish waste from the Norwegian pelagic industry represents an important raw material for fishmeal production. Large filleting factories freeze waste for animal feed production while cod heads are dried and exported to Nigeria. Much of the waste from salmon processing plants is used for the production of high-grade fish oil while residual waste is ensiled and used for livestock.
Earlier this year KystMagasinet visited Norway Seafood’s filleting plant in Stamsund and reported that the firm freezes all the waste in blocks and sells it for the production of animal feed. However, the question is whether freezing is more cost effective than producing silage.