Value creation in Icelandic aquaculture

Project title: Value creation in Icelandic aquaculture

Partners: Eagle salmon, Héðinn and Arctic Protein

Research Fund: AVS and Food Fund

Initial year: 2017

Service Category:



Gunnar Þórðarson

Regional Manager

A large amount of side raw material is used in Icelandic fish farming, but today these raw materials are mostly processed in smelt, which is exported to Norway for further processing into animal feed.

This project points out ways to increase value creation during smelting in Iceland, and reduce costs. In particular, attention was paid to reducing transport costs by processing the digesta more, removing fish oil and water from it, which reduces volume and weight during transport and gives the opportunity to process it into more expensive products. Salmon farming in Iceland today is spread across East Iceland and Vestfjörður, in addition to extensive land farming being prepared in at least three locations in the South, and therefore it is important to find solutions to collect and transport the side raw materials from fire and slaughter to further processing, but considerable equipment needed for that.

The goal of the project is to develop ways to create valuable products from side raw materials that fall during the cultivation, slaughtering and processing of salmon. Side streams in aquaculture are mostly divided into two categories, ie. K2, which is a fish that dies by itself in pens, and K3, which is offal that occurs during slaughter, as well as heads, spines and trimmings that occur during processing. Raw materials from K2 may not be processed for human consumption or in feed for animals bred for human consumption, and therefore other markets must be considered, for example pet or fur animals. However, K3 can go into production for human consumption or in the feed of animals consumed by humans.

The project explores important possibilities in the utilization of K2 and K3, which until now has been a cost for the fish farm and could turn it into value creation. To advance these ideas, it is necessary for the research community to work closely with aquaculture companies and regulatory authorities.

The project ended in 2022 with publication final report which can be seen here.