RAJKOT: Veraval, one of the biggest fish producers in the country, has a great potential to develop an industry to generate produce from fish waster.
According to several studies, more than 50% of fish tissues like fins, heads, skin, viscera and bones are discarded as wastes. The Central Institute of Fisheries Technology is planning to organize a national seminar ‘Fish Tech-19’ in Veraval to provide the knowledge and training to make the most out of fish waste.
There are big units in Cochin that make byproducts from fish waste but there is no organized industry in Veraval which has nearly 150 export units.
Dr Toms C Joseph, principal scientist at Veraval centre of CIFT said, “Currently, fish waste is not only causing the economic loss, but also contributing towards environmental pollution. Therefore, it is imperative to recycle this waste into marketable products so as to add value and minimize the threat of pollution.”
The major waste of Veraval coast goes into making fish meal, which is used by poultry farms. Fishermen and exporters sell this waste for Rs one per kg. According to CIFT, proper utilization of this fish waste will create new employment opportunities in Veraval and help increase reveenue of fishermen as well as exporters. Veraval generates thousands of tons of fish waste and underutilized waste only results in pollution.
A note prepared by CIFT states, “It is obvious that all the underutilized or unused parts of the fish can be used for extraction of high-value products. Therefore, fish waste actually provides huge potential for utilization rather than creating distress.”
Kenny Thomas, former president of Sea Food Exporters Association of India, who is also one of the speakers at the seminar said, “There are nearly 10-12 big exporters in Veraval who will be benefited if they understand this approach and generate by-product from fish waste.”
Veraval coast produce 600 million tonnes fish every year. Gujarat had exported fish worth of $791.39 million in financial year 2017-18 according to the data of Marine Products Export Development Authority (MPEDA) working under union ministry of commerce and Industry.