Processed squid waste

Steve O'Shea

TONMO Supporter
Staff member
Nov 19, 2002
I have just received the following very interesting message. In all honesty I have never given squid 'processed waste' management prior consideration, but it would appear that a solution is required. Is anyone familiar with any use for squid waste? I will direct the person to TONMO so that they may follow this thread.
Greetings from Peru. I’m writing to you in order to ask you an advice.

I was trying to get some information about jumbo squid waste disposal. Here in my country, the fishermen don’t take care with this kind of waste, producing bad odors and thousands of flies. I would appreciate if you can send me any link to look for more information to solve this problem environmentally friendly.

I really appreciate your help.

"Squid waste"?

Are we talking about waste in the defecatory sense? Or is this referencing portions of the squid that are not used for anything and end up discarded? Are the jumbo squid considered bycatch?
my best guess would be what's left after cleaning the squid...

solutions... hmmm

burn it? chop it up and use as fertilizer? leave it in someones house when they go out of town for a few days? (as a prank) a message somewhat akin to 'sleepinging with the fishes' thing from godfather?
I would vote for cheap fertilizer, though I don't know how well beaks and gladiuses (gladii?) decompose.

Taken from:
8. Anon. 1992. Problematica de la actividad langostinera. [Problems of prawn culture in Peru]. Pesca 58 (34):12-15

An economic analysis of the prawn culture enterprises operating in Peru is presented. Of the total of 104 enterprises reported, 64 have been sold and others have crashed. The costs for raising prawn has increased and the profitability is in a continuous slump. The taxes imposed by the Government concerning construction licenses, functioning licenses and export could lead this activity to a total collapse. Some solutions to decrease the costs and promote the growth of this industry are given.

Would prawns eat squid? I don't know much about prawns but if they scavange at all I don't see why they wouldn't. I just did a quick search on Yahoo! for aquaculture+peru thinking that the leftover squid bits could be used as feed for some form of fish, but prawns should do it. That way the fishermen some compensation for getting rid of their waste environmentally and the prawners get some cheap form of food. Of course having said that, I'm not sure how the people of TONMO feel about encouraging aquaculture growth. I see it as an okay thing (despite some serious downfalls of the aquaculture bizz) as the squid refuse is only being wasted anyways, so we might as well put it to use. That's my :twocents: ! Interesting problem indeed.


I don't think its that easy. One, we may be talking about a huge number of tons of waste, which could overwhelm the scavengers' ability to eat it all. Second, it might also spread disease. Third, dumping hug amounts of "squid waste" near shore could affect fish stocks, algal blooms, and the like, which may be devastating.

I would honestly consider the fertilizer alternative. The trend in fertilizers as of late has been toward organics, like fish emulsion and marine by-products (I used to work in a fertilizer plant).

Wow, that's a problem I haven't heard of before... Yet I wonder how the Japanese or Mexicans deal with it? Maybe it would help to contact industry reps in both those nations first.

Hi everybody. I'm the guy who ask Dr. O'shea about the jumbo squid waste disposal in Peru. Is really interesting see all the ideas and suggestions sent from all of you about this subject. I'm taking notes. Thanks
:welcome: there Jake Mate; nice to have you aboard.

I have a meeting with someone today concerning the squid fishery, and will pass your query by him also. We must have a similar problem here in New Zealand as we do have a substantial squid fishery. I'll see what they do with it. We have similar problems with waste from the green-lipped mussel industry (Perna canaliculus); what on Earth to do with all of that shell? [Heavens, I just noted an advertisement on our very own site; check it out]

.... although this link, from the same site, for 'shark powder' has an image, correct me if I am wrong, of a Great White! That is not good (I know that it will be a generic image of a shark, but it is still sending a poor message)

Probably worth a complaint! Send it to [email protected]
well, for mussles i guess they can try something like all oyster shells ive seen used as fill.....

probably would recommend against using for road as theyre not as thick as oyster shells....
Ok, so clearly I didn't mean dumping tons of squid waste into the ocean shoreline; I like to think of myself as a little more informed than that. First we would need to know how much waste there even is, which we don't yet. Also, fisheries catch a ton of bait fish every year to turn into pellets to feed to aquacultured fish. The conversion rates are disgusting and it makes little sense, but it happens because then they can also load the feed with growth hormones and antibiotics. Wouldn't squid pieces work well to suppliment the feed so they didn't need to waste so many wild fishes? Of course I imagine the pieces that are left would be mainly just internal organs that don't serve much nutritional value. Is there any muscular mass (head, tentacles, arms, etc.) that is discarded or is it all used? Hmmmm, what an interesting problem indeed. I guess that fertilizer does make the most sense but I was just trying to think of other ideas.

Is there some way of incorperating shells (of any kind) into cement, or is that what you were talking about, WhiteKiboko? Hey! What about cleaning them up a little bit, maybe sending them through a tumbler and using them for garden mulch? Wouldn't decompose as fast and would be really unique too! Of course there would undoubtly be some smell left and the shells would probably fill the soil with dissolved minerals which some plants might not like. Actually, I think I've seen that done Florida, California, or NZ I'm not sure which though. Just for my own knowledge and for further thinking, shells are mainly made up of calcium carbonate (CaCO3), right?


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