Alaska’s seafood industry has invested in the search for new uses of pollock byproducts and the development of a seafood processing quality-control training program. The work will be done at the University of Alaska Fairbanks’ Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center, the state’s only research processing plant.
Faculty at KSMSC will receive more than $350,000 from the Pollock Conservation Cooperative Research Center, a consortium of fishing companies that operate pollock catcher-processors in the Bering Sea and Aleutian Islands.
The byproducts research includes examining the feasibility of making pet treats from pollock skins and studying the nutritional and shelf life of pollock byproducts such as heads, bones, offal and skin. The two new research projects join ongoing projects seeking a natural additive to preserve fishmeal freshness. UAF seafood chemist Alex Oliveira and seafood scientist Brennan Smith at KSMSC are conducting the pollock research.
“Using byproducts is important to obtaining maximum value of the fish.” said Stephanie Madsen, executive director of the At-Sea Processors, whose members participate in the PCCRC. “Full use of the fish is good economics and good stewardship. We are happy to be able to invest in valuable research for our industry’s product value.”
Additionally, Icicle Seafoods is investing $40,000 with the University of Alaska Fairbanks and the Alaska Sea Grant Marine Advisory Program to develop a seafood processing quality control training program. Ten training modules will be developed by Oliveira, Smith and microbiologist Brian Himelbloom.
Once developed, the course will provide training in the technical details of managing quality control for seafood products.
“High quality seafood is our priority, … this series of trainings are a way to develop our workforce to ensure more Alaskans are qualified for these jobs and people currently employed in the industry have an opportunity to advance their careers,” said Icicle Seafoods’ CEO Amy Humphreys.
The first of the quality-control trainings will be offered in Kodiak in November, followed by a series of training modules offered in at least two Alaska ports before salmon season.
PCCRC has invested more than $13 million in seafood research since 2000. Icicle Seafoods has contributed $1.7 million to support University of Alaska programs since 2007. The UAF Kodiak Seafood and Marine Science Center is a hub of applied research in seafood science, marine mammals and harmful algal blooms.
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