I think that everyone would agree with me on one thing, rotting fish stinks. Waste management in the fishing industry is a vital component to its harmonious existence with environment and neighbours. Living next door to a fish processing unit would, I think, take some getting used to. What are the requirements for the management of waste in a fish processing factory? In some countries the solid fish waste is recycled at plants into fish meal; and this goes into animal feeds and other non-human uses. The liquid waste is, then, usually disposed of via the municipal sewage system or into a body of nearby water.
Ecological assessments are made by the appropriate environmental protection agency as to the chemical makeup of the liquid waste and whether it can be naturally broken down by the environment. Primary and secondary treatments can be made upon this waste matter if it adjudged to be necessary. These can include the removal of floating and settling solids within the liquid matter. Biological and physiochemical treatments can be added to help the natural environment to process the waste matter, if required.
Generally, the fishing industry has a good historical record of utilising as much of the fish as possible in the processing of fish. Fish by-products have been valuable things to humans over millennia; fish was used as a glue by the ancients in many civilisations. If you have ever spent any time cleaning fish waste you will know that it sets like glue and is bloody hard to clean off. Fish meal goes into plant fertilisers, and feeds other fish in aquaculture, and feeds livestock in other situations. Fish waste is an issue in overcrowded fish factory farming and the use of chemicals and antibiotics to deal with this has been roundly criticised by concerned environmentalists.
Waste management in the fisheries industry is a waste management and recycling issue like every other industry. There are positives and there are negatives in various manifestations of the fishing industry. Eco warriors see ocean based fish farming as a serious threat to wild stocks of fish because of the risks of contamination from run-offs in bad weather. If these pesticides, antibiotics and hormones reach stocks of wild fish they may permanently damage their eco systems. Greater government scrutiny of this industry is needed to make sure that these things do not happen. Aquaculture has a bright future but it must be controlled and guided toward positive outcomes.