Scotland: Food waste to salmon feedstock

Innovative solutions

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Zero Waste Scotland: Promoting use of black soldier flies to clean up food waste

Black Soldier Flies could help deal with food waste and provide a feedstock for Scotland’s fish farms, according to a new report from Zero Waste Scotland (ZWS), in a report by MRW.
The fly larvae are voracious eaters and can feed on organic residues from food manufacturing and agriculture, fattening them up so they become an appealing source of protein for salmon. High quality salmon feed can then be produced by processing the larvae.

Economic solutions

As Scotland’s second biggest food export industry, salmon farming uses huge volumes of feed, a lot of it sourced from wild caught fish.
This could be replaced by ingredients from Black Soldier Flies, turning food waste into feedstock. By-products from insect farming could also have potential economic value, as they can be processed and turned into biodiesel, chitin and fertiliser.

Environmental solutions

Dried black soldier fly larvae
Dried black soldier fly larvae

Michael Lenaghan, environmental policy advisor at ZWS, said: “This is a fascinating and potentially game-changing opportunity. Insect farming is already being embraced in countries across the world. With a huge salmon farming sector, Scotland would be well-placed to explore this opportunity, which has the potential to be a green and financially lucrative way of dealing with some of our commercial food waste.

“Of course, there is no one single solution to a problem on this scale and we don’t expect insect farming to replace methods such as anaerobic digestion or composting. But with food waste the most carbon intensive waste source in Scotland, anything we can do to effectively recycle it could make a big contribution to the fight against climate change.”

Future solutions

ZWS’s report estimates that Black Solider Fly treatment of ‘pre-consumer food waste’ that is generated in the supply chain rather than the household, could generate additional carbon savings and £113 of economic value per tonne of food waste processed.

The report has been produced in advance of a stakeholder workshop to be held in Edinburgh on 7 February 2019 to discuss the opportunities for black soldier fly farming, and other types of insect farming, in Scotland.

Editor: AquacultureList

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