Value added edible crab by-catch

by Thomas Jensen
Edible crab

Edible crabEUROFISH is coordinating a three-year project with eight other participants covering the value chain from fishermen to a crab salad producer. The primary purpose is to utilise the edible crab by-catch in the Danish gillnet fishery. Except for the claws, most of the crab is today discarded and the project aims to utilise the white and brown meat from the crab and use the shells for chicken feed – to improve the egg shell.

From vessel to fish counter
The nine partners will sustainably utilise the crab by-catch and thereby improve the economy of the small scale coastal fishing fleet, while also creating valuable products for human consumption and improving chicken feed. The total available amount of raw material will be estimated. Methods for on-board handling of the crab and systems for on shore logistics including the collection of raw material from harbours and delivery to processing facilities will be developed and tested. The company JK Salads and Dressings is interested in utilising the meat in crab salads instead of the meat the company imports today. Other companies in the project want to transform the crab shells to crab meal that is a component in chicken feed. Crab shell meal in chicken feed improves egg laying and strengthens egg shells.

Increased employment is expected
If the projects succeed transforming the bycatch on the fishing vessels to valuable feed and food products it will create value both in environmental and economic terms. One of the main purposes of the project is to add value to a material that is currently not utilised. In addition, the project is expected to create a minimum of 5-10 jobs in the whole chain – onboard fishing vessels and on shore. The project is expected to generate a profit of EUR14 million yearly.


The project is supported by the Danish green development and demonstration programme and has a total budget of EUR1.44 million.

The project was featured in Eurofish Magazine October 2015 that you can read about here.

The project partners are:
Eurofish International Organisation (Project coordinator, technical expertise), Marco Frederiksen, E-mail:,
Hirtshals fishermens association (Crab by-catch), Niels Kristian Nielsen, E-mail:
Fishermens fish collector Hirtshals, Palle Steen Nielsen, E-mail:
N.O. HAUSGAARD A/S (Crab white and brown meat), Jan Nikolaj Jensen, E-mail:
Marinova A/S (Crab broth), Greta Jakobsen, E-mail:
Danshells (Crab shell meal production), Erling Rasmussen, E-mail:
Danhatch, (Crab shell meal – feed trials), Lars Woel, E-mail:
JK Salads & Dressings (Crab salad), Jan Petersen, E-mail:
Danish Technological Institute (technical expertise), Karin Loft Eybye, E-mail:

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