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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: CONVERTING ALASKA FISH BY-PRODUCTS INTO VALUE ADDED INGREDIENTS AND PRODUCTS Title: Crop nutrient recovery from applied fish coproducts

Authors
item Zhang, Mingchu -
item Sparrow, Stephen -
item Pantoja, Alberto
item Bechtel, Peter

Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: January 5, 2009
Publication Date: October 20, 2010
Citation: Zhang, M., Sparrow, S., Pantoja, A., Bechtel, P.J. 2010. Crop nutrient recovery from applied fish coproducts. Meeting Proceedings. In: P.J. Bechtel and S. Smiley (eds.), A Sustainable Future: Fish Processing Byproducts. Alaska Sea Grant, University of Alaska Fairbanks, pp. 87-103. doi: 10.4027/sffpb.2010.08.

Interpretive Summary: Over two thirds fish consumed by human in the USA are harvested from Alaskan waters. Approximately one million metric tons of fish byproducts are generated from processing two million tones harvested fish annually. Depending on the fish species and components, the byproducts vary in nutrition concentration; for example the skin of Alaskan pollock contains 25% protein in contrast with 15.2% in heads, whereas the head of pink salmon contains 13.9% protein, and Pacific cod head contains 16.4% protein. The processing temperature and pH also affects the solubility of protein in the fish byproducts. Increase of pH (from 5.4 to 7.2) and temperature (23 to 90oC) increase protein solubility in the byproducts. Traditionally, processed fish byproducts are used as a protein supplement in the livestock industry. With expanding of organic agriculture, fish byproducts become a popular nutrient source for organic crop production. The objective of the study was to quantify nutrient release in soil and crop production from use of fish byproducts under Alaska soil and climatic conditions. A laboratory incubation and field plot experiment were conducted to determine nitrogen release and nutrient recovery by barley from two different soils treated with fish meal, fish bone meal, and fish hydrolysate. Fish meal and fish bone meal released more than 80% of their N as compared to 66% for fish hydrolosate during 56-day incubation. On average, barley recovered 78% of the applied N from fish meal, 65% from fish bone meal, and 50% from fish hydrolysate at the Fairbanks site, and these were apparently higher than that of urea (42%). But the recovery at the Delta Junction site was only 32% for fish meal, 28% for fish bone meal, and 11% for fish hydrolysate, probably due to the bird damage in the late growth stage. Biomass production for the both sites followed the same trend as N uptake. Plants also recovered substantial amounts of Ca, Mg, Cu, and Zn from the fish byproducts. The results indicated that the byproducts can be a good source for crop production.

Technical Abstract: The Alaska fishing industry produces over 1,000,000 metric tons of fish byproducts annually, and most of them are not used. Most food in Alaska is imported. Fish byproducts are rich in plant essential nutrients and can be used as nutrient sources for crop production. The objective of the study was to quantify nutrient release in soil and crop production from use of fish byproducts under Alaska soil and climatic conditions. A laboratory incubation and field plot experiment were conducted to determine nitrogen release and nutrient recovery by barley (Hordeum vulgare L.) from two different soils treated with fish meal, fish bone meal, and fish hydrolysate. Fish meal and fish bone meal released more than 80% of their N as compared to 66% for fish hydrolosate during 56-day incubation. On average, barley recovered 78% of the applied N from fish meal, 65% from fish bone meal, and 50% from fish hydrolysate at the Fairbanks site, and these were apparently higher than that of urea (42%). But the recovery at the Delta Junction site was only 32% for fish meal, 28% for fish bone meal, and 11% for fish hydrolysate, probably due to the bird damage in the late growth stage. Biomass production for the both sites followed the same trend as N uptake. Plants also recovered substantial amounts of micro nutrients (e.g. Ca, Mg, Cu, and Zn) from the fish byproducts. The results indicated that the byproducts can be a good source for crop production.

Last Modified: 9/22/2014
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