Galicia (NW Iberian Peninsula) has one of the marine ecosystems with the highest levels of biodiversity of the world due to its unique conditions. Galician coastal areas are mostly an alternate series of rías, submerged valleys where the sea penetrates tens of kilometres inland.
Southern rías (Rías Baixas) are rich in marine life, promoting fishing and aquaculture activities which account for 3% of Galician Gross Internal Product (EU Commission 2007). In this sense, Galicia accounts for the highest production of transformed fish products in Europe and in some cases in the world (mussels canning), highly depending on such activities.
Many industries in the Rías Baixas are dedicated to transform raw fish and seafood collected from the sea into products with higher organoleptic quality, longer shelf life and, ultimately, higher value-added products. However, their production process is characterized by high water consumption and the subsequent emission of large quantities of wastewater which demands adequate treatment.