Taiwan's aquaculture annual production is about 280,000 metric tons. However, most of the fish bones, skins, and scales are used as fertilizers, feeds, or wastes in the processing of fishing manufacturing, and have not been more effectively used for environment friendly and business purposes. Taking fish scale for example, it is produced up to 2,000 metric tons per year. The fish scale's main components contain about 45% of collagen and 55% of hydroxyl apatite.
Most collagen is currently extracted from the skins of poultries, pigs, cattle and their by-products. However, the recent outbreak of zoonotic infectious disease such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) or foot and mouth disease (FMD) contributed to customer’s safety concern regarding the origin of collagen from terrestrial animals. Therefore, the research on collagen from marine organisms has been significantly valued in recent years. Scientists have been working on transforming the processing wastes of fish skin, fish scales, fish bones, and fins into collagen extraction, which serves as an environmental protection and a mean for safer sources of collagen.
Hydroxyapatite is a calcium phosphate compound and the main inorganic component of human's and animal's bones and teeth. Hydroxyapatite extracted from fish scale has good biological affinity to bones and allows re-calcification of teeth. Due to its high bioactivity performance, hydroxyapatite is widely used in clinical orthopedics and dental biomedical materials, such as artificial bones, artificial teeth, bone prosthesis, artificial joints, and artificial equipment.