Nova Scotia

Cape Breton fish processor seeks new products from waste

A fish processor is spending $3 million and teaming up with researchers at Cape Breton University to turn its waste into new products.

Company funding $3 million in new equipment and research

The company that owns Louisbourg Seafoods Ltd. is funding $3 million of research and new equipment to make new products from fish wastewater. (CBC)

A fish processor is spending $3 million and teaming up with researchers at Cape Breton University to turn its waste into new products.

Kennedy Group of Companies, which owns Louisbourg Seafoods Ltd. and several other plants, wants to know if its fish wastewater can be transformed into something marketable.

“All the stuff that we're flushing out of our plant,” says Dannie Hansen, a manager with the company.

“Like the pieces of shell from the shrimp, the shrimp meat, the by-products of the proteins, all these oils, salts, that are flushed out into the harbour.”

The company is working with scientists at Cape Breton University, including Beth Mason at the school’s Verschuren Centre.

The centre’s goal is to help local companies add value to their products and remain competitive. Mason says she views waste streams as “value streams.”

“It can't possibly be waste if it's full of nutrients,” she says. “We're processing food all over the place, those by-product streams can become value, not just for us for us, but also in terms of saving environmental aspects.

“We reduce the impact on the environment and adding value for the company producing them.”

The initial research phase is slated for one year. The $3 million will pay for research and new equipment at the plant.

However, it could be years before new products are ready to market.

“It could go as bait or it could go as protein fines for pet food,” Hansen says. “It takes much research to bring it all together, but it's the recovering of the products so we're not flushing out into our harbours and oceans.”

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