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BE-FAIR - Benign and environmentally friendly fish processing practices to provide added value and innovative solutions for a responsible and sustainable management of fisheries.

LIFE05 ENV/E/000267

Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version  

Contact details:

Project Manager: Antonio Álvarez Alonso
Tel: +34 986 231930
Fax: +34 986 292762

Project description:


The FAO estimates that around of 27 million tonnes of undesired by-catch from fishing fleets are thrown back into the sea annually. This means that more than a third of the fish volume caught every year is wasted and such large amounts of organic waste thrown into the sea have severe adverse effects on the ecological equilibrium of marine communities.


The project’s main objective focused on developing new approaches for reusing fishing industry waste and by-catch. This was based on piloting innovative integrated waste management and processing practices, both on-board fishing vessels and also on shore in a dedicated test plant. The latter aimed to demonstrate waste processing approaches capable of creating adding value opportunities for food and pharmaceutical industries from fishing by-catches.


The project successfully identified methods suitable for reusing by-catch waste matter within Atlantic fishing fleets. This included developing new Best Practices and management solutions for separation, classification, handling, conservation and pre-treatment of by-product. Different Best Practices were defined for long-liners, trawlers, fish auctions, and the food processing industry. These included five new waste management processes and four different prototypes covering on-board storage/conservation solutions as well new shore-based recycling and valorisation processing lines.

The new technologies proved both technically and economically viable in terms of converting by-catch matter into commercially valuable products. Key markets were identified for Gelatine from fish skins, Chondroitin sulfate from cartilage, fish oil and Hiarulonic acid.

Such innovative outcomes offer good transferability for other EU fishing fleets and the project’s Manual of Good Practices (supported by a DVD) can be used to help adapt fishing practices towards more sustainable production systems. Participation of French and Portuguese partners in the LIFE project has helped to further facilitate wider EU uptake of the project results, which will become increasingly important tools to help fishing sectors contribute to aspects of the Marine Strategy Framework Directive, especially those relating to integrated approaches for the sustainable management and governance of marine resources.

Furthermore, new regulatory frameworks under the Common Fisheries policy are also expected to place added emphasis on reducing or eliminating discards or bi-catches from EU fishing fleets. This LIFE’s project’s pioneering work can be seen to have made important contributions towards associated policy objectives and a follow-up LIFE + initiative (LIFE08 ENV/E/000119) is building on these achievements by identifying complementary methods for reducing and recycling by-catches. These involve improving knowledge about fish behaviour in order to help the fisheries sector better target their catches and other work on LIFE + project will clarify new valorisation opportunities for different types of marine species that are currently treated as waste.

Further information on the project can be found in the project's layman report and After-LIFE Communication Plan (see "Read more" section).


Environmental issues addressed:


Waste - Bio-waste (including food waste)
Industry-Production - Agriculture - Forestry
Waste - Industrial waste


fishing industry‚  industrial waste‚  organic waste

Target EU Legislation

  • Waste
  • Directive 75/442/EEC -"Waste framework directive" (15.07.1975)

Natura 2000 sites

Not applicable



Coordinator Consejo Superior de Investigacones Científicas - Instituto de Investigaciones Marinas
Type of organisation Research institution
Description The Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC) is Spain’s largest public research organisation. Its Institute for Marine Research (IIM) undertakes studies in areas such as process engineering, food biochemistry, as well as waste recycling and valorisation.
Partners CETMAR-Centro Tecnológico del Mar Fundación Cetmar, Spain ESPADEROS DEL ATLÁNTICO, Spain HNOS. RODRÍGUEZ GÓMEZ S.L., Spain PEIXESPORT S.L., Spain AUTORIDAD PORTUARIA DE VIGO, Spain IPIMAR-Instituto de Investigação das Pescas e do Mar, Portugal IFREMER-Institut Français de Recherche pour l`Exploitation de la Mer, France


Project reference LIFE05 ENV/E/000267
Duration 15-NOV-2005 to 15-NOV -2008
Total budget 1,858,552.00 €
EU contribution 909,248.00 €
Project location Galicia(España) Pays de la Loire(France) Lisboa e vale do Tejo(Portugal)


Read more:

Leaflet Prototype for fish wastes compaction and wastewate ...
Leaflet Prototype for gelatine production from fish skins ...
Leaflet Prototype for chondroitin sulphate (CS) production ...
Leaflet Prototype for obtaining fish oils (1.5 MB)
Leaflet Project's leaflet (EN)
Project web site Project's website (ES/EN/FR/GA/PT)
Publication: After-LIFE Communication Plan After-LIFE Communication Plan (EN)
Publication: Article-Paper Towards an Integral and Efficient Management, Proc ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual Manual de boas práticas para a recuperação, manuse ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual Manuel de bonnes pratiques pour la récupération, l ...
Publication: Guidelines-Manual Benign and Environmentally Friendly Fish Processin ...
Publication: Layman report Layman report (EN)
Video link "Programa Ciencia Nosa, TVG, 02/03/2008" (8')


Project description   Environmental issues   Beneficiaries   Administrative data   Read more   Print   PDF version