Commercial potential for fish scales due to foreign demand

Tilapia fishes seen in the market. Photo Supplied
Tilapia fishes seen in the market.  Photo: Supplied

With foreign demand for fish scales, those interested can run business on a commercial scale, according to Myanmar Fisheries Federation (MFF).
“Buyers from Thailand and Japan connected with us in recent days. Thailand started to purchase 5,000 kg,” said U Win Kyaing, general secretary of MFF.
Japan traders proposed to buy Tilapia’s scales to be used in skin care products. However, Myanmar’s Tilapia production cannot still meet the market demand. Therefore, they took sample scales of rohu, carp and catla.
“Thai traders connected with us to produce aqua feed powder with the use of fish scales of fresh water fish including rohu, carp and catla. They purchased a kilo of fish scales at US$0.8,” said U Win Kyaing.
“They regularly want about 50 tons of fish scales per month, but only scales of freshwater and white fish. Myanmar disposes fish scales as waste without recycling. A regular demand of fish scales will encourage small-scale businesspersons to systematically store them to resell, as this business can bring profits, like plastic bottles and caps sold for recycling. This is why we want to share this message through media”, he maintained.
In order to sell fish scales, they have to be sun dried after rinsing them with water for three times. At present, a viss of fish scales fetches Ks2,000. Sellers promised that a more competitive purchase price will be offered as time passes, U Win Kyaing continued.
Previously, there was demand of fish scales from Mahachai market in Thailand, to use them in cosmetics production.
In other countries, by-products of fish are used in cosmetic products, such as fish scale decoration on handbags and slippers, as organic fertilizer as well as aqua feed stuff, using fish bone powder, and livestock feed by extracting fish oil.
Myanmar’s fish farming sector is mainly dependent on the flesh. Recycling by-products can reap more profits and those intrested can start a business.


By May Thet Hnin

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