VIETNAM July 2019
 
Seafood By-Products could generate US$5 billion more for the Industry
 
In Vietnam, the seafood industry is advised to consider processing its by-products into high value-added products as this could translate to an additional US$5 billion more to the industry every year.
Total seafood output in Vietnam is estimated at 7 million tonnes annually, with by-products accounting for 15-20% or 1 million tonnes. By-products should not be discarded instead it can be used to manufacture products with high added value.
According to the General Department of Fisheries, the seafood by-product processing industry contributed only US$275 million, a very low figure as most are thrown away by seafood processors.
Phan Thanh Loc, general director of VietNam Food claimed that Vietnam has 320 million tonnes of shrimp by-products. If the by-products can be fully exploited, it can make up at least 10% of the shrimp industry’s value.
Judging from the existing level of technology, Vietnam is still far from maximising its input production value. The seafood industry needs modern technologies and research to develop high added value products. Developed countries can recover 95% from by-products whereas Vietnam can only recover 56%; and countries like Norway for example, can multiple its finished product value by 28 times from the input value as against 3 times approximately in Vietnam. At present, Vietnamese buy shrimp heads and shells just to manufacture animal feeds.
They must see the potential of using these by-products to extract attractants in food, industries and animal feed, the selling price could be 5 times higher or to make shrimp powder or shrimp salt, of which the selling price could be 25 times higher. For fish by-products, they can be converted for use to make fish powder, collagen and gelatin. Seafood by-products can also command high price if they are used to make chitosan used for food wrap film and artificial plastics.
 
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