Maximising the value of cyprinids

A project led by the South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences will put roach on consumers’ plates. A “fish-house concept” will be developed for operators in industrial food production which improves the availability of roach and use of fish fractions.


Cyprinids such as roach are used relatively little as food, although there are many ecological and regional economic benefits in catching domestic fish. The fishing of cyprinids removes nutrients from water, reduces eutrophication and manages fish stocks.

In terms of food processing, it has been problematic to secure a steady and sufficient availability of cyprinids and to make processing profitable. The South-Eastern Finland University of Applied Sciences (Xamk) and Sitra have together taken on a challenge to increase the profitability of domestic cyprinids such as roach by following the circular economy fish-house concept.

The project aims to find solutions to the central problems of using cyprinids in industrial food production: availability, logistics and handling processes. The aim is to put domestic cyprinids on consumers’ plates by improving the availability of fish mass for producers and by using fish fractions, including fins as feed or value-added products.

The project is part of a national road map pilot scheme published by Sitra: Domestic fish and the fish industry as the backbone for a competitive circular economy. Projects in the pilot scheme aim to encourage the recycling of nutrients on land from the sea and other bodies of water by fishing that specifically targets cyprinids.

What are we doing?

In this project, solutions are sought for a fish-house concept following the principles of circular economy, in which cyprinids are used as food and other products, down to the last fin. The project will first focus on improving the efficiency of logistics by identifying solutions that enable profitable transportation and collection of small and large catches of fish. In order to make the process effective, a digital system will be required for transport and catch information which will aid the design process. Xamk will design and test the system.

The project examines how cyprinids, in particular roach, bream and ide, can be gutted automatically. Currently, gutting is done manually, which increases the price of the finished product. Moreover, business models will be sought for making the fishing and processing of cyprinids profitable for all operators in the fish chain.

Who are involved?

Xamk is responsible for the implementation of the project. The fisheries group of Eastern Finland actively guides the activities of the project and distributes information about it to other groups of fisheries, in particular fishermen and fish processors in Eastern Finland. The steering group includes a comprehensive set of operators in the fish industry. The operating range of the project is Eastern Finland, but the results are expandable throughout the country.

Where have we got to so far?

The project was launched in February 2018 and will finish at the end of 2019.


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