Executive Summary

The following report was commissioned by The Conference of Great Lakes St. Lawrence Governors and Premiers from the Iceland Ocean Cluster and focuses on the topic of moving toward full utilization of fish from the Great Lakes fishery as part of the 100% Great Lakes Fish initiative. The project complements ongoing work by the Great Lake Fishery Commission, the region’s States and Provinces, and partners to improve fishery management and fish recruitment to protect the long-term sustainability of Great Lakes fish populations and the ecosystem.

The report details the existing catch, market and biotechnological profiles of four Great Lakes fish, Walleye, Yellow Perch, Lake Trout and White Sucker which currently have value creation for fillet flesh and low value, small scale secondary value chains for processing cut-offs to the mink industry and for fertilizer. The outcome of this project supports value creation, reduces waste of target catch and also offers a route to discourage and utilize bycatch discards.

The results of an in-depth biotechnological analysis were combined with collected knowledge of the Great Lakes fishery context and two complementary analyses; value-chain analysis and SWOT analysis to identify three best-case and highest commercial potential products. This report finds that it would be most advantageous to combine secondary biomass from different species (both commercially targeted and lower value species) to maximize the volume of material available for value creation. Given this, three high-potential cases are identified.

You can read more about our 100% Fish programme here.