SitNews - Stories in the News - Ketchikan, Alaska


Alaskans aim for more jobs, profits from fish byproducts


February 24, 2009

Alaskans are taking the lead to derive more jobs and profits from fish byproducts. A conference this week will bring together leading scientists and technologists to share ideas about turning fish wastes into valuable new products.

Alaska's world class fisheries produce a lot of leftovers - fish heads, guts, skin, bones and other trimmings. Each year, roughly 1.5 million tons of fish wastes are produced by seafood processing in Alaska, the largest supply in North America.

Industry analysts estimate Alaska could have produced up to $200 million in fish meal and oils from 2000 to 2007. Fish byproducts also are being used for many other valuable nutrients and applications.

Many of Alaska's larger coastal towns have a facility to convert the byproducts into nutritious fish oils and feeds for aquaculture and livestock. But thousands of tons of these healthful trimmings are still being ground up and discharged into the sea.

There are several options for smaller communities to support fish meal and oil production.

"These include portable facilities for processing oils, feeds and fertilizers that can be shipped to a central plant for de-oiling, concentration and drying," said Jim Browning, executive director of the Anchorage-based Alaska Fisheries Development Foundation, sponsor of the byproducts conference.

AFDF - now in its 30th year - is spearheading several pilot projects for utilizing fish byproducts in remote Alaska communities. AFDF also is presenting a short, "edu-tainment" video featuring a wide range of new products now being made from salmon byproducts. The video was made in Kodiak, as an example of how Alaska fishing towns can make profits from fish wastes.

Along with Browning, five Kodiak fishery scientists from the University of Alaska Fisheries Industrial Technology Center will make presentations at the two-day event.

The conference, called "A Sustainable Future: Fish Processing Byproducts," takes place Feb. 25-26 in Portland, OR following the Pacific Fisheries Technologists meeting.

Source of News:

Alaska Fisheries Development Foundationz


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