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July 2012
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What is Fish Meal ? How is it manufactured? – Part 1

• Fish meal, or fishmeal, is a commercial product made from fish and the bones and offal from processed fish.
• It is a brown powder or cake obtained by drying the fish or fish trimmings which are left often after cooking, and then by grinding it.
• If it is a fatty fish it is also pressed to extract most of the fish oil.
• Fishmeal is a nutrient-rich and high protein supplement feed ingredient that store well.
• It is used primarily in diets for domestic animals and sometimes as a high-quality organic fertilizer.

What are the raw materials used?

• Fish meal can be made from almost any type of seafood.
It is generally manufactured from:
• Wild-caught
• Small marine fish that contain a high percentage of bones and oil
• From by-catch of other fisheries
• By-products of trimmings made during processing
• Fish waste or offal

How to select species?

• The species must be in large concentrations to give a high catching rate.
• This is important because the value of industrial fish is less than that of fish for direct human consumption.
• The fishery should preferably be based on more than one species.
• This is in order to reduce the effect of fluctuations in supply of any one species.
• The total abundance of long lived species varies less from year to year.
• Species with a high fat content are more profitable.
• The fat in fish is held at the expense of water and not at the expense of protein.

Fish meal is manufactured primarily from
• anchovies in Peru
• menhaden in the United States
• pout in Norway
• capelin, sand eel and mackerel in other parts of northern Europe
• sauries, mackerels and sardines in Japan

How is the production done?

• Fishmeal is made by either cooking, pressing, drying and grinding of fish or fish waste to which no other matter has been added.
• It is a solid product from which most of the water is removed and some or all of the oil is removed.
• Four or five tonnes of fish are needed to manufacture one tonne of dry fishmeal.
• There are several ways of making fishmeal from raw fish.
• The simplest way is to let the fish dry out in the sun.
• This method is still used in some parts of the world.

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