Leelanau News and Events

Leelanau Fishery Pledges To Use 100 Percent Of Each Fish Caught By Next Year

By Craig Manning | Jan. 22, 2024

Carlson’s Fishery in Leland has signed on to a growing list of Great Lakes businesses that are committing to using 100 percent of each Great Lakes-caught fish.

The compact, called the “100% Great Lakes Fish Pledge,” is described in a press release as “a first-of-its-kind international effort to publicly commit to productively using 100% of each commercially caught Great Lakes fish by 2025.”

Usually, the release notes, “only about 40 percent of a fish is used,” typically in the form of a filet sold for culinary consumption. Recently, however, “experts from Iceland have found a way to use the remaining 60 percent for various non-consumption commercial uses.” Carlson’s is one of 21 companies throughout the Great Lakes region to commit to following those Icelandic tactics to use the whole of each harvested fish.

According to the press release, there are numerous “innovative applications” for fish and fish byproducts that have mostly gone untapped and unexplored until now. Those include fertilizer, protein, marine collagen, leather, cosmetics, nutraceuticals, and more.

Beyond pledging to explore these and other pathways for using 100 percent of each fish caught, Carlson’s has agreed to “help communicate to other companies in the fish supply chain about opportunities for innovative applications for fish byproducts.” Supposedly, exploring these applications could see the value of a single fish “skyrocket” from $12 for a filet “to a remarkable $5,000” for various other product applications. 

“Carlson’s is excited to join the 100% Great Lakes Fish Pledge,” company co-owner Mike Burda said of the new commitment. “We always strive to reduce waste and utilize as much of each fish as possible. At Carlson's, we recognize the upcoming value of new opportunities through leveraging larger networks and increasing participants, which were previously outside the scope of implementation for one small business.”



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