Photo: Dos Winkel

Fish oil, chemical storage place for the world's seas

999

999

 

In Esbjerg, the biggest port on the Danish North Sea coast, a terribly bad smell emerges from the huge 999 fishmeal factories. The workers drop an enormous vacuum pump into the hold of a gigantic trawler. Billions of small fish (blue whiting) are then processed in a gigantic industrial process that smashes, grinds and boils them. This mixture is then separated into fish oil and fishmeal pellets. The fishmeal is for pigs, fowl and salmon farms. The oil is intended for food supplements, salmon farms, the margarine industry and for paint and varnish producers. So many small fish are caught that there is a surplus. Why? Salmon farms today are looking for vegetable sources of protein and omegas. Because blue whiting is too polluted. Solution for the 999 factories? Part of the fish oil is used as fuel for power stations.

The 999 or Triple Nine Fish Protein a.m.b.a. is a cooperative belonging to 100 fishing companies. TripleNine is the second biggest fishmeal manufacturer in the world. The 100 ships provide the company with one billion kilos of fresh fish. The company uses this to make 220 million kilos of fishmeal and 60 million kilos of fish oil. Production takes place in Esbjerg and Thyboron on the West coast of Denmark. TripleNine has become the first big factory in the world where it has been possible to use Hexaan for extracting most of the dioxin from the fish oil and fishmeal. Hexaan is often used in order to extract oil from seeds, but in itself it is extremely poisonous and dangerous substance. One can never guarantee that the poisonous Hexaan disappears completely from the oil. Info: www.999.dk where you can see two films about this. One about how fishmeal and fish oil are made and another about the extracting dioxin using Hexaan.