At the height of the canning industry in Steveston, refuse (guts, skin, and blood) from the butchered salmon were dumped back into the Fraser River. The waste did not wash away, but moved back and forth with the tides. During the summer canning season, Steveston reeked with the stench of rotting fish. The water quality was so bad that risk of infection was high.
Today, we have a better understanding of sanitation and the many uses of salmon skin, which would have once been considered “waste”. Salmon skin is a durable material that can be used as a textile. Designers are now using salmon skin to make a range of products including bikinis, handbags, and accessories.
Of course, anyone who has had a well-made BC roll knows that salmon skin is also a yummy treat. Legend has it that local restaurateur Hidekazu Tojo developed the sushi roll to use up left-over salmon scraps.
Do you have any interesting uses for “waste,” fishy or otherwise?