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Fishmeal from fish waste - FLAG Huelva - ES

This project offers an example of utilising fisheries by-products by supporting an aquaculture company to produce its own fishmeal from local fish waste.



The aquaculture company, Salinas del Astur, which breeds and commercialises sea bass and gilthead, saw a business opportunity in the discards and fish waste produced by the local fish auction. Until then, this fish waste produced no added value but was merely sent for incineration by the Town Hall. At the same time, the purchase of fishmeal implied an annual cost of €40 000 for the company. 

With support from Axis 4, the company was able to invest in machinery that would allow it to produce its own, high quality fishmeal from this local fish waste. With the new machinery and by combining fish waste with bread crumbs (also produced by the company from bread waste collected locally), the project has turned waste into a valuable resource while having positive side effects for the environment. Salinas del Astur now produces 50% of the fishmeal consumed by its aquaculture activities. Moreover, they are currently working to find new ways of improving the quality of the fishmeal by reducing its water content (currently at 80%). At a later stage, the company foresees scaling up the production of fishmeal by also collecting discards from a neighbouring fish auction (Isla Cristina) as well as other types of fish and seafood waste from the local canning industry.  

Key lessons

> Relevance to FARNET themes: Diversification; environment; by-products; innovation 

> Results: Having only started in September 2011, the project has already created one job and allowed the company to reduce its fishmeal costs by 50% (i.e. a saving of €20 000 per year). It has also given new use to the local auction’s fish waste as well as to a certain amount of the bread waste produced locally. Last but not least, it has brought the company into contact with experts from different sectors and regions of Spain in its pursuit of refining its production technique. The result will be an increase in specialised knowledge for the area. 

> Transferability: This project is transferrable to all fisheries areas with aquaculture and fish farming activities and which are generating sufficient volumes of fish waste.

> Final Comment: This initiative offers a good example of a diversification activity which is both profitable as well as making the company’s practices more environmentally friendly.  


Total cost and EFF contribution

Total Project cost: €31 176

  • FLAG contribution: €7 014.60
  • National public: €7 014.60 
  • Other/ Private: €17 146.80


Project information

Title: Fish waste from fish meal

Duration: Activities running from September 2011 to date. 

Case study date: January 2012

Project promoter Salinas del Astur S.A.Rafael Rodriguez

rafael.rodriguez (at) puntaumbria.es

+34 615 39 74 85

Salinas del Astur website

Huelva FLAG factsheet