3 Sep 2013

Export products programme gets six more years of funding

1:23 pm on 3 September 2013

A 10-year research programme aimed at extracting high-value export products from the sea has won a further six years of funding.

The Plant and Food Research Institute, working with scientists from Deakin University in Australia and commercial partners, has received almost $11 million in the latest round of Government grants.

A Science Group leader, Dr Sue Marshall, says as well as by-products from fish processing, it's looking at nutraceuticals, ingredients and new biomaterials.

"We tend to say it's anything that's not fish fillets, so it goes from seaweed though to any kind of strange organism that's in the ocean. We do a lot of work on by-products which is all the stuff that's left over when you fillet a fish."

Dr Marshall says at the simplest end it means improving ways of processing fish waste into products such as fertiliser, fish meal and oil.

"But then by taking out material before it goes to the rendering plant or focusing on specific species like green-shell mussels we can start making very high level products which are targeted at things like cosmetics and dietary supplements."