Ace Aquatec and Tiny Fish building circular economy for salmon

26 April 2024 17:57

Dundee - The fraction of small fry that don’t survive in Scotland’s salmon aquaculture could deliver great value as food for human and animal consumption. Aquaculture technology specialist Ace Aquatec and startup Tiny Fish have developed a system to cull and process these fish rather than wasting them.

Aquaculture technology specialist Ace Aquatec and startup Tiny Fish, which aims to sustainably maximize the value of small fish, are collaborating to improve the circular economy of fish in Scotland. In a press release the two Scottish companies said they wanted to expand the Scottish fish market to include premium uses for fish that might otherwise be thrown into a landfill or incinerated.

“This collaboration has created a real opportunity for Scottish producers to show the global aquaculture sector that putting welfare and zero food waste at the heart of processing is easy to achieve and the right thing to do,” said Tara McGregor-Woodhams, chief sales, and marketing officer at Dundee, Scotland-based Ace Aquatec.

As many as 99 percent of salmon raised on Scottish fish farms survive. The few that die are usually made into compost or bioenergy. But scientists at Ace Aquatec and Tiny Fish claim that some of these small fishes can be set aside so the best fish can grow to around 5 kilograms in ocean water.

Tiny Fish can harvest and sell these fish to restaurants, hotels, zoos, aquariums, and pet food suppliers for human and animal consumption. To ensure that these fish are treated compassionately, Ace Aquatec has developed the Humane Culling System.

“This initiative is an opportunity to demonstrate the commitment of the Scottish aquaculture industry in driving sustainability across the harvesting process, from producer to supply chain,” said Teresa Garzon, pioneer of Tiny Fish.

The collaboration already has two clients: Bergen, Norway-headquartered seafood company Mowi and Gairloch, Scotland-based fishery Landcatch. They have used small salmon fry and parr – or salmon that have not yet migrated from freshwater to the sea – for human and pet food, including Britain’s GA Pet Food Partners. ce/js

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