Six companies in Door and Kewaunee counties have signed the 100% Great Lakes Fish Pledge, publicly committing to using 100% of each commercially caught Great Lakes fish productively by 2025.
As part of the pledge, the companies – Lindal Fisheries, Dramm Corporation, Dan’s Fish, Henriksen Fisheries, Baileys Harbor Fish Company and J&M Fisheries – will also help communicate to other companies in the fish supply chain about opportunities for innovative applications for fish byproducts including fertilizer, protein, marine collagen, leather, or other new, high-value products.
The pledge was created by the Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors & Premiers to encourage use of the whole fish, rather than fish for filets only. The Great Lakes are home to a large commercial fishery, but only the filets of these fish are usually eaten, while the remaining 60% of the fish is often relegated to inexpensive uses or discarded.
The project and pledge are the first of its kind in the region and builds on work pioneered in Iceland. The utilization rate of the Icelandic cod has increased from 40%, when utilization was almost exclusively filets to eat, to more than 90%, including high-value byproducts such as skin and collagen. These byproducts are processed into a variety of food and non-food products, raising the value of each fish.
“My family has been involved with commercial fishing on Wisconsin waters for over 100 years,” said Dan Lindal, owner of Lindal Fisheries. “We do not take the opportunity to do so, or this resource for granted. We are strong advocates for the preservation and sustainability of the fishery, and consider this pledge to be a privilege and a great business opportunity to share ideas and technology with other like-minded businesses.”
A total of 20 companies, including the six in Door and Kewaunee counties, have taken the pledge to date.
More information on 100% Great Lakes Fish including a copy of the Pledge is available at gsgp.org.