The commercial fishing and seafood industry has long been under fire for their wasteful and unsustainable practices. According to fisherman and businessman, Craig Kasberg,” The seafood industry is behind the times when it comes to byproduct utilisation.” The United States fishing industry throws out about two billion pounds of “bycatch” annually. Bycatch is not even truly waste; it is the additional fish or marine life that is caught when fishing for a specific type of marine life. The two billion pounds of unnecessary death and destruction that is called bycatch, is also worth over a billion dollars. Bycatch aside, the US Environmental Protection Agency also allows for actual waste to be thrown back into the ocean. So, fish and marine life by products like heads, shells, guts, and skins are thrown back into the water. This may appear to be an acceptable practice, as the materials are biodegradable. However, the decaying mass requires oxygen and deprives living organisms of it underwater. The byproducts can also introduce new species of living organisms to delicate oceanic eco systems.
Needless to say there is a lot that needs to be done in terms of sustainability best practices. Some thoughtful, yet enterprising entrepreneurs have stepped in to save the oceans and create a bit of profit while doing so.
Tidal Vision is a line of wallets developed by Craig Kasberg that are made from salmon skin. He worked with scientists and engineers to develop a sustainable and effective way to tan the previously discarded salmon skin and turn it into leather.
Craig’s company is also working on creating a sustainable way to perform chitin extraction from crab shells. Chitin is used to create chitosan, which is a helpful chemical in both medicine and agriculture. But Chitin extraction is currently harmful to environment because the process used the caustic sodium hydroxide.
This is an algae growing system created by SabrTech. The whole set up exists within a shipping container that houses 10 tiers of algae growth. Fish farmers can pump the water from their fish pens directly to the algae, which will act as a bio filter purification system. The algae can filter out the nutrients they need to grow. The newly filtered water can then be pumped directly back into the fish farms, and the algae can be used as feed. The Riverbox develops a full eco-system.
To learn more about sustainability in the fish farming industry, refer to this article from The Guardian.