A Biorefinery Approach for Sustainable Utilization of Newfoundland Aquaculture Industry’s Waste Resources
Contributing over 86% of the total aquaculture production of Newfoundland and Labrador in 2015, Atlantic salmon is a tent pole product for the burgeoning aquaculture industry in the province. A great deal of export revenue is brought into the region due to salmon aquaculture, however, Atlantic salmon suffers from inefficiency in terms of waste management and value chain due to its full utilization. Processing methods currently being employed remove the fillet from the salmon and discard the rest as waste or for low-value uses (e.g compost, mink feed). This non-fillet portion, which equals roughly half of the mass of the fish, still contains a great deal of value, including salmon oil, protein, omega-3 fatty acids, bioactive peptides and other biomolecules that are beneficial to human health. The loss of value due to this operational setup is further compounded by the fact that aquaculture firms encounter logistical, financial and environmental problems as a result of this high volume of waste resources. The Centre of Aquaculture and Seafood Development (CASD), one of the Fisheries and Marine Institute’s specialized research and development centre, proposes to eliminate this inefficiency and develop biorefienery approach for the production of various high value nutraceuticals and pharmaceuticals from salmon aquaculture waste resources (byproducts) thereby maximizing the sustainability and economic viability of the industry. The aim of this project is to investigate the utilization of salmon waste resources for the production of pharmaceutical grade protein and amino acids.