Acid ensilage treatment preserves crawfish heat-processed waste under ambient temperature conditions with stabilization of the astaxanthin pigment present. Implementation of acid ensiling prior to pigment extraction increased concentration of the astaxanthin oil extract by 40–50%, and oil recovery by 10%. A twofold increase in free amino nitrogen, and a 70% reduction in exoskeleton calcium carbonate, were observed in crawfish silage (pH 4.2) from acid/enzymatic hydrolysis, compared with controls. A correlation was seen between solubilization of calcium carbonate and pigment release in relation to silage pH. The role of acid-resistant proteolytic microorganisms in breakdown of carotenoprotein complex is discussed. Application of ensilage process for ultimate commercial production of astaxanthin-enriched vegetable or fish oils from pigment rich crustacean wastes is postulated.