Investigating the feasibility of scaling production of fish-derived materials such as fish leather from invasive fish species. These materials will be made into a variety of products such as knife handles, golf club grips, and key chains. Profits from the sale of products will be reinvested to continue funding efforts to remove aquatic invasive species.
Currently, programs removing invasive species such as chain pickerel and small mouth bass do not have an end use for the captured fish. This project seeks to solve this issue. Jayden is working on integrating sustainable methods to create fish leather out of captured invasive fish, determine the most efficient method to scale up the production, work with interested people to create fish leather products, and finally begin selling products to continue this work.
In August of 2022, Jayden met with a student at the Dynamic Environment and Ecosystem Health Research (DEEHR) lab of St. Mary’s University to chat about their methods for creating fish leather and identify where the process could be more efficient.
In October of 2022, a couple of invasive species removal programs were kind enough to supply many of their captured fish towards this project.
This project will continue exploring the scalability of fish leather and fish leather products. It will also be investigating sustainable uses for other parts of the fish so that nothing goes to waste.
What was your biggest challenge?
The biggest challenge was designing a device that could rotate and mix the fish skins.
What was your most valuable takeaway?
A takeaway is networking is extremely important – you never know where the connections you make can take you. This takeaway comes from networking leading to connecting with and learning from someone that was also investigating the production of fish leather – a rather novel idea in Atlantic Canada.