Beneficial fish oil from Lake Superior fish - siscowet lake trout oil rendering study workshops

Michigan Sea Grant and Lake Superior fishery managers explore possibility of oil rendering facility in Upper Peninsula.

The recent research on medical and nutritional uses and benefits of fish oils appears to point to a promising future. The size and scope of the marine fish oil industry is impressive in its present day form. Uses of fish oils include human health foods, human pharmaceuticals, human food industry applications (mostly as ingredients), and in farm and domestic animal foods. There are important nutritional benefits to fish oils including reducing platelet activity and clotting, which reduces the risk of heart attacks and stroke. Peru, U.S., Denmark, and Iceland are the top four producers of fish oils, processing annually 200,000, 70,000, 70,000, and 60,000 tons, respectively. The major trend in fish oil production and processing is clearly the refining of oils to purer and higher quality oil. The production of refined fish oil has quadrupled from 2001 to 2009. 

Because of the high fatty acid content of Lake Superior siscowet lake trout, Michigan Sea Grant and fishery managers around Lake Superior are exploring the feasibility of a fishery for this species. A Lake Superior siscowet fishery could supply fish for an oil rendering facility to produce fish oil for the nutraceutical industry. Paul Addis, Professor Emeritus-University of Minnesota, recently completed a study for Michigan Sea Grant on siscowet lake trout oil rendering.

Siscowet lake trout oil has fairly high docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) and docosapentaenoic acid (DPA) levels, with reasonable levels of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). There are also important human, animal and fertilizer uses for the product. Addis believes there will be a continued increase in demand as supply is slowly decreasing and contributing to price fluctuation. Siscowet lake trout are a good source of omega-3 and EPA and DHA – better than most other fish. Most fish oil is produced as a by-product of fishmeal production using a steam heated cooking process to release oil. The oil is then separated and refined prior to use.

Three workshops will be held at the end of June that will review the findings of the Siscowet Lake Trout Oil Rendering Study. The Great Lakes Indian Fish and Wildlife Commission are helping Michigan Sea Grant coordinate the workshops that will take place at these locations:

June 26, 2012 – Legendary Waters Casino Conference Center (Red Cliff, WI)

June 27, 2012 – Ojibwa Casino Resort - Chippewa Room (Baraga, MI)

June 28, 2012 – Bay Mills Community College - 110 Mikanuk Hall (Bay Mills, MI)

All workshops begin at 7:00 p.m. local time and are free to attend with no registration required. For additional information about the workshops or study results, contact Ron Kinnunen at 906-226-3687.

Related Events

Related Articles

Related Resources