Fish has been part of the human diet for a very long time. And even if you’re not a fan of it, there’s still a high chance that you’ve unknowingly come into contact with a fish by-product. This is because the unwanted fish parts – such as bones, scales, and organs – are often repurposed in some very ingenious ways. From biodiesel to your everyday clothing accessories and household items, let’s take a dive deep into some of the shocking everyday uses for unwanted fish parts.
1. Photography and Electronics
Film photography is slowly losing its steam due to the uptick in technology. However, environmentally conscious scientists have invented a biodegradable film and other electronic devices using just fish scales. With such a simple ingredient, they are able to create thin and transparent films for flat electronics such as logo display lighting and flat-panel displays. Another benefit to using fish by-products in electronics is that the gelatin increases the storability of photos. The physical ones, not the digital kind, of course!
Because fossil fuel is a limited resource and it’s harmful to the environment, scientists have come up with alternative ways of creating clean and renewable energy. Most of you already know about using wind to power turbines or harnessing the energy of the sun. But have you ever heard of biodiesel? It’s created by pressing and then extracting the oil from discarded fish parts such as bones, the skin and heads that would otherwise be dumped into the ocean. The final step is adding a couple of other components before it is ready for use.
Got some leftover fish parts in your hands? And you love spending time in the garden? Then you’ll be pleased to know that fish offal, the common name for the by-products of fish, makes for the perfect fertilizer, especially in organic agriculture due to its nutrient-rich composition, rapid decomposition and extremely low cost. It’s a great way to nourish your plants and vegetables. Though, the only downside is the temporary fishy smell in your backyard.
4. Clothing and Accessories
Some people are huge fans of aquatic-inspired fashion – from mermaid tail flares to fishnet stockings and vibrant colors that remind you of tropical fish. But this isn’t an entirely new thing. In the past, Nordic countries used to make shoes and pants using fish skin, as well as an accessories like bags or sacks. And it’s still done today, especially in the United States where they make cowboy boots using fish skin leather. Some say that it’s even more luxurious than regular boots. Oh, and don’t forget your salmon skin designer sunglasses.
5. Household Items
Can you name at least three items in your home that contain fish by-products? No? Then you’re not the only one. Most people have no idea that there are many everyday items with a fishy past. Really simple stuff like your candles, soaps, lubricants, rubber, paint, varnishes, printing ink, detergents and fish glue. Yes, you read that last one right. Fish glue is used to bind just about anything from paper to wood and leather and it even has a low setting time. Candles on the other hand contain fish oils. Hey, it doesn’t really matter as long as your home doesn’t smell like an aquarium, right?
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