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Mar Pollut Bull. 2012 Jul;64(7):1277-90. doi: 10.1016/j.marpolbul.2012.04.005. Epub 2012 Apr 28.

Fish discards management: pollution levels and best available removal techniques.

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Process Engineering Group, Marine Research Institute IIM-CSIC, Eduardo Cabello 6, 36208 Vigo, Spain.


Fish discards and by-catch issues are highly topical subjects that are permanently under a social focus. Two main approaches are being considered to address this discard problem: reducing the by-catch and increasing by-catch utilization. Interest in increased by-catch valorization may arise from a greater demand for fish products, such as the development of new markets for previously discarded species, the use of low-value specimens for aquaculture or the creation of value-added fish products for the food, pharmaceutical or cosmetic industries. However, contaminants present in fish discards may be transferred to their valorized products, leading to possible long-term bioaccumulation and subsequent adverse health effects. In this valorization framework, the aim is to promote responsible and sustainable management of marine resources. The pollutant levels in catches from European fisheries and the best available decontamination techniques for marine valorized discards/by-products are compiled and analyzed in this work.

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