Ace Aquatec and Tiny Fish team up to advance Scotland’s salmon circular economy

Responsible Seafood Advocate

Partnership to expand premium food markets for small Scottish salmon, enhancing the circular economy

circular economy
Ace Aquatec and Tiny Fish aim to expand premium food markets for small Scottish salmon, enhancing the circular economy.

Ace Aquatec and start-up Tiny Fish have teamed up to advance Scotland’s salmon circular economy, opening doors to premium food markets for its smallest fish.

Salmon raised at farms in Scotland achieve a monthly survival rate ranging from 97 to 99 percent throughout their lifecycle, with these fish losses being traditionally repurposed into compost or bioenergy.

However, during the salmon’s freshwater phase (the first year after hatching), a selection of small salmon may be humanely removed from the population to allow for the best salmon to be raised at sea to a market size of about 5 kg. This selection of fresh fish in the hatchery phase provides an opportunity to market them as premium foods in many unique markets.

“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. “I take pride in Tiny Fish’s part in this and our commitment to using every fish harvested. I am optimistic that we will contribute significantly to enhancing sustainability across the sector as a whole.”

Tiny Fish harvests, collects, freezes, packages and stores the small salmon for value-added distribution channels to restaurants, hotels, takeaways, zoos, aquariums and pet food suppliers across the UK, making every fish count in the aquaculture industry.

To facilitate a humane, safe and efficient process to prepare small salmon for these unique markets, Scotland’s salmon farming sector has employed Ace Aquatec’s Humane Culling System (A-HCS®). The A-HCS® is a smaller and more portable version of the company’s Humane Stunner Universal (A-HSU®).

“The goal of this partnership of making every fish count is closely aligned with our own commitment to sustainability at Ace Aquatec,” said Tara McGregor-Woodhams, chief sales and marketing officer at Ace Aquatec. “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.”

An introduction to circular economy principles in aquaculture 

Among the partnership’s freshwater clients are seafood giant Mowi and Landcatch. Mowi has already reported positive outcomes for sustainability when some of their smallest fry and parr (salmon which are not yet at the smolt stage) have been utilized for human consumption and pet food producers like Golden Acre Pet Foods.

“Farmers want to see every one of their fish sold as food,” said Dan Philips, freshwater director at Mowi. “This collaboration between Ace Aquatec and Tiny Fish is a no-brainer to reduce food waste across our freshwater production. The technology is easy to operate and is helping us reduce our carbon footprint by converting the fish into a natural, healthy and safe ingredient for pet food products and fish oils.”


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