Kenyan science interns turn Lake Victoria’s fish waste into oil and flowers

Kenyan science interns turn Lake Victoria’s fish waste into oil and flowers

KISUMU, Kenya — At Dunga Beach on the shores of Lake Victoria, numerous varieties of fish, such as tilapia, Nile perch and mudfish, are processed for consumption and distribution. Every day after processing, the fish remains create tons of waste that threatens the environment. The process of converting Nile perch into chilled fish fillets for export generates substantial amounts of solid and liquid waste, estimated to be as high as 50-80% of the original raw material, thereby posing significant environmental concerns. In addition, the proliferation of medium-sized fish processing facilities along the lakeshores leads to a significant amount of waste. The Kenya Marine and Fisheries Research Institute (KMFRI) reports that 150,000 tons of fish waste are generated each year, of which 80% is dumped. A substantial portion of the fish waste is swept into the lake, while some of it ends up in open landfills. But now, a group of young scientists is trying to solve the problem, turning fish waste into valuable fish oil. Their efforts are part of a growing trend in recycling Lake Victoria’s waste and turning it into usable goods. Environmentalists have warned of the dangers in fish waste: When it decomposes, it consumes oxygen from the water. This can lead to oxygen depletion, which can harm fish and other aquatic organisms that require oxygen to survive. In addition, excess amounts of fish waste and other nutrient sources can cause eutrophication, which is when an excess of nutrients in the water leads to algal blooms and…This article was originally published on Mongabay

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