Claudia Henley, front left, shows her grandson Austin Feagin a few tips while dipnetting on the North Kenai Beach on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Claudia Henley, front left, shows her grandson Austin Feagin a few tips while dipnetting on the North Kenai Beach on Wednesday, July 17, 2019. (Photo by Brian Mazurek/Peninsula Clarion)

Anchorage business offers dipnet processing

Fish waste will be used to make fertilizer.

Alaska Salmon Fertilizer will be setting up shop on the North Shore Beach in Kenai during the annual dipnet fishery.

The Anchorage company was recently approved for a conditional use permit that allows them to set up a fish-cleaning station on the beach for dipnetters to use. Dipnetters get filleted fish and Alaska Salmon Fertilizer gets more fish waste to use in their production process.

The company creates a living probiotic fertilizer for plants out of Alaska salmon.

“Ultimately, our goal is to really not only help sustainability and the environmental impact in Alaska, but furthermore (to help) the food security and sustainability in that manner,” said Ryan Bacon of Alaska Salmon Fertilizer. “We really, through a lot of trial and error and testing, came across this awesome process and our hope is to eventually collect all sockeye waste to convert it into this highly effective soil amendment.”

Alaska Salmon Fertilizer has been on Kenai beaches in the past, with bins for fish waste all along the beach, which wasn’t very effective according to Bacon, since they would end up with sandy salmon and regular trash in their bins.

“We’re trying to be a little more clever this year, with a lot more effort,” said Bacon. “We are going to offer ice and fillet services for dipnetters. We’ll have a station set up and we’ll be offering our fertilizer. It’s definitely an outreach project.”

The Alaska Salmon Fertilizer station will be set up Friday through Sunday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. most weekends of the dipnetting season. There are a lot of variables, though, like the need for more filleters and how quickly the company will reach their capacity.

“Since this is a whole new type of project that’s never been done, we’re still feeling everything out,” Bacon said.

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