Through this project, we intended to find an alternative to the County Waste Disposal System for our fish waste. We planned to investigate possibilities of recycling fish into fish/animal feed chum and fertilizer.
We prepared our fish for the market in the following ways: 1) head and entrails removed, 2) fish fillet (head, entrails, backbone, tail and fins removed) and 3) whole fish sold intact depending on the market order.
Our original project planned for all the discarded waste to be processed; however, we found the head, backbone, tail and fins to be too hard for our small equipment to process. To process these parts, we needed a Hammermill processor, costing around $5,000.
Our major accomplishments include producing fishmeal, chum, and earrings and ornaments from fins and tails.
The direct benefit from this project is that the dumping fee paid to the County Solid Waste System will be lower. Additionally, there will be opportunity to create jobs and increase incomes for producers.
Farm ponds were made to raise catfish and tilapia for commercial sales by using the produced fishmeal. We will also work with the Marshallese community to hire them to market the edible portion of the waste created. The fish earring and ornaments have potential to become a viable product. More effort is needed to market these products.
The problems encountered in this project in a small rural community were in finding part-time labor to help with the project. The other problem was determining the adequacy of the machinery used as there were no companies on this island selling them.