The fisheries sector in Vietnam should use more seafood by-products such as bones, heads and skin to add value to the industry. (Source: VNA )

HCM City (VNA) – Vietnam’s fishery sector should use more seafood by-products such as bones, heads and skin to add value to the industry, experts said at a recent forum in Ho Chi Minh City.

The Vietnam-Norway business forum on processing high-quality products form seafood byproducts was co-held by the Directorate of Fisheries under the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the Norwegian Embassy in Vietnam on November 14.

According to Tran Dinh Luan, Deputy General Director of the Directorate of Fisheries, said that the country’s high-quality seafood was exported to many countries, and Marine Rest Raw Materials could yield more profits and reduce the need for discharge of waste.

However, Vietnam focuses less on processing seafood byproducts, which have been left out for a long time, causing economic losses and environmental pollution, he noted.

Phan Thanh Loc, Director of VietnamFood, said that such materials account for a large portion of the input in fishery, especially shrimp, and contain a great deal of nutrition.

They can bring great value to firms and sustainable development to Vietnam’s fishery industry, he said.

Vietnamese firms have been using a small fraction of the "rest raw materials" as Vietnamese technologies for processing the materials are still limited.

More research and investment into technologies, as well as trade promotion, are needed to make use of these highly profitable materials, according to Loc. 

Vietnamese factories should not view these materials as waste, but as products and materials for processing, and preserve them more carefully to maintain their high quality.

For the last 30 years, Vietnam and Norway, which are among the top 10 biggest fishery nations in the world, have been working together in the marine industry.

Norwegian firms have been developing technologies and processes to use as much from the fish as possible, or what the industry calls "Marine Rest Raw Materials", to make human and animal food, cosmetics and pharmaceutical products.

Grete Lochen, Norwegian Ambassador in Vietnam, said that fisheries and aquaculture are contributing greatly to the global food supply, but there is a great need to enhance food security, both through sustainable fishing and aquaculture, and by a higher use of ’rest raw materials’.

At the forum, Norwegian firms in the fishery industry expressed their interest in working with Vietnamese firms and looking for local suppliers of high-quality fish and fish products, and buyers of their technologies, such as fish feed, processing technologies, fish oil and fish meal.-VNA