As fish meal is called dried and ground fish or parts of fish which the thickened press juice can be added (fish full meal). Coastal fish meal may contain moderate amounts bycatch, particularly crustaceans, starfish and seashells.
It is used as an additive to animal feed, such as in aquaculture and in the pig and poultry feeding ( 3-4 %). The biological value is dependent on the starting materials, it decreases with the decreasing proportion of fish meat. The feeding of fish meal to cattle was banned because of the BSE problem in the EU. Due to the rising price of vegetable feed, fishmeal are used in calves and lambs bred using an EU decision again. The use for the supplementation of compound feed for chickens is increasingly substituted by the use of sulfur-containing synthetic amino acid DL-methionine hydroxy analogues and of methionine.
The production of fish meal was earlier predominantly from waste that arose after filleting of edible fish. In recent decades, but also a branch of the deep-sea fishing is next emerged that catches certain fish species exclusively for fish meal production. This practice is considered partially critical because these fish are removed from the ecosystem, similar to fish for herring and cod overfishing and extinction of individual species threatened. In addition, there is criticism that the traditional fishing grounds of the local population are affected, the protein-containing products are sold in the rich industrial countries and only a few companies benefit from it.
Main suppliers of fishmeal are Chile, Peru ( world's largest producer ), Denmark, Norway, Panama, as well as smaller suppliers such as the Faroe Islands, Iceland and India. Fishmeal is, official hand examined at the boundaries of Salmonella and foreign admixtures, in particular meat and bone meal, feather meal and meat meal before its import into the European Union.