Namibia partners with World Economic Forum to limit food waste through utilizing fish processing byproducts

Pile of fish caught in Namibian waters.

Namibia has partnered with the World Economic Forum (WEF) to address food loss and waste in the country’s fisheries sector by adding value to fish byproducts – including heads, internal organs, skins, and frames.

The partnership, which was established under the Namibia Ocean Cluster – an initiative modeled on Iceland’s Ocean Cluster – aims to connect entrepreneurs, businesses, and fishers to develop shared expertise within the southwest African country’s marine industry.

“The mission of the Cluster is to bring together the Namibian seafood sector and allied stakeholders in a noncompetitive, collaborative forum, which collectively believes in working toward maximizing viable utilization of all seafood post-harvest, leading to new product development and the promotion of new economic models, research methods, and markets,” the WEF said.

That work is already underway, as several companies within the Namibian hake fishery are now exploring how post-harvest fish byproducts at sea could be “captured, landed, and processed into products that add value to each fish harvested,” according to the WEF.

The project’s objective is to extend that work countrywide and increase investment in startups that can reprocess fish byproducts such as heads, gonads, and livers into other high-value products, including use in the pharmaceutical and cosmetic industries, for fishmeal and fish oil purposes, as well as repurposing particular byproducts – specifically fish heads and hake livers – for human consumption.

“In this project, policymakers, business leaders, and civil society organizations are brought together to create an aligned approach to maximizing byproduct utilization, thereby both capturing more nutrition and economic value,” the WEF said.

Though the reduction of seafood loss and waste has obvious environmental and social benefits, the WEF stressed that the project’s financial viability is ...

Photo courtesy of Seawork Fish Processors

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