In the present work, catalytic cracking of fish oil industrial residue was investigated to study the effect of temperature, type of catalyst and the heating rate on the yield of organic liquid fraction (OLF) and its acid value. The highest bio-oil yield of 72% (wt.) was obtained at temperature range of 300–500 °C and heating rate of 10 °C/min with the mixture of Al2O3 and Na2CO3 as a catalyst. It was found that the mixture of Na2CO3 and MgSO4 as a catalyst gives lowest acid value of 8.75 mgKOH/goil and 68.1% of OLF yield. Furthermore, the acid value is reduced to 0.36 mgKOH/goil using Na2CO3 as an absorbent. The results show that the catalytic cracking process represents a sustainable method to produce bio-oil from fish oil industrial residues with physicochemical characteristics similar to the diesel fuel. Copyright © 2012 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.