The global seafood market in 2019 was valued at $159.32 billion. Of that, 12.4% or $19.8 billion was due to canned seafood.** [Sources shown at end] How can Lean and Six Sigma contribute to improvement in the fish canning industry?

We’ll explore that by looking at two example case studies in the fish canning industry, one for canned mackerel and another for canned sardines. Finally, we reference an example video showing the mackerel canning process.

In a case study titled “Food Processing Optimization using Lean Six Sigma Methodology - Case Study of a Mackerel Filets Production Company in Morocco”, the authors Ismail Idrissi, Abdelhalem Mesfioui, and Bouchra Benazzouz discuss how a fish canning company in Morocco can use a “systematic and disciplined approach to move towards the goal of Lean Six Sigma quality level.”

Canned Mackerels had the most serious defects among all the company’s canned fish products. Therefore, it was chosen to be the focus of a Six Sigma Green Belt project.

The article provides the project charter in Table 1.

fish canning industry

During the Define Phase, the 125 gram mackerel product was chosen to work on with the weight lost during the draining step as the key defect response.

A process flow diagram was constructed during the Measure Phase and a Pareto analysis of defects completed.

Unfortunately, the article does not include any details for the Analyze, Improve, and Control Phases for the project.

You can access the article here. Click on Read Paper at bottom of page.

In the next case study, most of the same authors briefly showcase a Lean project in the same company focusing on canned sardine production.

The article titled “Implementation of Lean Manufacturing in Fish Canning Company: A Case Study of a Canned Sardines Production Company in Morocco” discusses 5S and Single Minute Exchange of Dies (SMED).

You can access the article here (Select Read Full Text).

Finally, as an example, we reference a Mackerel Canning Process video in Morocco from Mohamed Zoubeir, currently Director General at OCEAMIC Laayoune II S.a.r.l.

You can view the video here.

**Note: the numbers quoted initially come from two different sources shown below. Bolded for emphasis.

  • The seafood market size was valued at $159,311.9 million in 2019 ($159.3119 billion). Read more
  • Canned Seafood Market size is anticipated to grow at 4.50% CAGR from 2019 to 2025 and it is estimated that the global Canned Seafood Market was valued at USD 19.8 billion in 2019 and is expected to reach USD 24.5 billion by 2025. Read more

[19.8/159.32 = 12.4%]