European fishery industry and aquaculture sector produced 10.7 million tons in 2018 (EU 28 plus Norway) according to Eurostat and FAO data (EUMOFA report 2020). Additionally, 9 million tons were imported for consumption into the EU.

Seafood processing produces 50-70% by-products that are mostly processed into fishmeal and oil for animal feeding. However, FAO estimates that still 25–30% of the total fish or seafood weight ends up as a waste together with other side-streams resulting from their industrial processing. This waste contains minerals such as nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, iron, copper or zinc, as well as vitamins and other compounds, which could be recovered and used for agricultural production.

Based on a philosophy around the circular economy and the maximum use of by-products, SEA2LAND seeks to revalue the biological waste generated by fishing and aquaculture. The project will demonstrate the technical feasibility of producing biofertilizers from various by-products of the fish processing industry. Thus, it will develop three pilot experiences in three regions of Europe: Cantabrian, Baltic and Adriatic Sea. It will develop a biorefinery concept converting side-streams from the fish processing industry into BBFs or intermediate products to be further used in the formulation of BBFs.

The three demonstration pilots will be based on:

  • Biotechnologies and separation processes will applied in the Cantabrian Sea pilot to recover three types of organic fertilisers and bio-stimulants.
  • Residuals from fish processing will be mixed with food waste from the Hotel, Restaurant and Catering (HORECA channel) minor input of garden waste/common reed litter and ash to be further treated with Bokashi fermentation technology in Baltic Sea case obtaining fertilizers in granular and liquid form as well as vermicompost.
  • Enzymatic extraction, composting and pyrolysis processes will be investigated in the Adriatic case to recover protein hydrolysates, compost-biochar composite and liming agents from shellfish and fish by-products.