T.A.S.A. is the worldwide leader exporting fish meal and fish oil. They export 24% of all the fish meal in Peru (Peru exports 40% worldwide). They have over 14 factories across the Peruvian coast. Most of the fish meal is exported to China, Europe, USA, and Australia. Their fish meal is mostly used in aquaculture, as well as other types of animal foods. Working with such a large corporation has the potential to impact the global market with regard to mercury contamination.
The ColegioFDR_Peru iGEM team visited T.A.S.A. twice this year. We learned about the fish meal production. We discussed with the scientists the pollutants they test for and how they run their tests and whether they'd be interested in an easier testing/removal methodology. After consultation with the T.A.S.A. scientists, we decided to focus on mercury, one of the 20 pollutants they test for and are concerned about. Currently, the T.A.S.A. practice is to dilute contaminated fish meal with cleaner batches, keeping the pollutants circulating in the biosphere. Thus, we aim to provide an eco-friendly solution that actually removes the mercury from the fish meal.