Companies and local governments in Canada, Alaska, Hawaii, Honduras, and other places have been experimenting with fish-based biodiesel for years, and some commercial enterprises are using and selling it profitably. The amount of fish biodiesel being used is minuscule compared to availability, however.
Using this waste oil for fuel has long been standard practice. According to the Alaska Energy Authority (AEA), fish processors produce approximately 8 million gallons per year of fish oil from as a byproduct of fish meal plants. Much of the oil is used in the process as boiler fuel for drying the fish meal.
In 2004 the AEA partnered with the Hawaiian firm Pacific Biodiesel to make biodiesel out of the fish oil; now production is more local. Biodiesel from fish and waste cooking oil is used in Denali National Park, both in stationary generators and in vehicle engines.
In Nova Scotia, Canada, Ocean Nutrition, a company that mostly sells omega-3 fatty acids as nutrition supplements, began using waste oil to make biodiesel for its own operations, and now also sells biodiesel to a local gas station chain, which blends it into B20 before selling it retail. According to New Agriculturist, using fish waste product could have other environmental benefits. Twenty-one million gallons of fish oil are produced annually by Alaska’s shore-based and floating fish processing plants, and yet two-thirds (13 million gallons) are currently discarded. Fish waste, if not processed immediately, degrades rapidly and quickly loses its value. And when dumped into the sea in high concentrations, the waste can also disrupt marine ecosystem.