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Environmentally-friendly salmon and crustacean by-product use developed


Salmon leather wallets. (Photo: Tidal Vision)

Click on the flag for more information about United StatesUNITED STATES
Friday, May 29, 2015, 04:00 (GMT + 9)
A a Juneau-based business is finding new uses for Alaska Sea seafood waste by implementing environmentally sensitive processes to make products like salmon leather wallets and chitin T-shirts.
Tidal Vision founders, Kasberg and Zach Wilkinson, who are in charge of the project stated that Alaska produces billions of pounds of seafood each year and that only a small fraction of it is actually consumed. They also explained that millions of pounds of waste are used to produce pet food and fish oil but if a secondary use can't be found, it is simply ground up and dumped out in the ocean, Co.Exist reported.
The developers of the project make the leather using a non-toxic vegetable-based "aquatic tanning" process, which involves cutting the leather into sheets and then sewing the material into wallets that are now available through its Kickstarter campaign.
Kasberg describes the leather as smooth but slippery.
“If you drop a liquid on to it, it will flow away,” he states.
For his part, Tidal Vision CEO Craig Kasberg pointed out: "There's all this biomass that's just being dumped next to our homes by these processing plants.We thought there must be so many possibilities with this."
The firm has plans to develop a second product, which is derived from chitin, a substance found in crab and shrimp shells. The process implies refining chitin to make chitosan fiber, which is then dyed and woven into T-shirts.
Referring to this material, Kasberg says the clothing is hard-wearing and doesn't absorb odor, which means it is possible to wear clothes made with this material for days without washing.
The process for developing chitosan was borrowed from Chris Griggs, a scientist at the US Army Corps of Engineers's Engineer Research and Development Center. The Army uses chitosan bandages for certain battle wounds because it is highly absorbent.
"By developing new technologies to up-cycle these byproducts, we can add value to sustainable fisheries in the area," Kasberg concluded.
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