This couple re-cycles fish waste to make useful products. One product enriches your gardens

Fish waste has been recycled to produce valuable products. One product can help your plants remain healthy and give good fruit or flowers.

A couple who used to live by the sea in Pattinapakkam till recently have adopted basic technology to make the best of the waste that was dumped in the sands of the Marina and at the Kasimedu fishing harbour in north Chennai.

Kennithraj and Vailankanni grabbed the opportunity to be trained and master the skills in order to supplement their fishing trade some years ago. They were guided by scientists at CIBA, the Central Institute of Brackishwater Aquaculture, whose campus lies on the southern fringe of the Adyar Creek.

This couple, who now reside near saint Lazarus Church stayed with the guidance of CIBA while the rest who were chosen for the tech-transfer dropped out and they now offer two products – one that helps in the growth of prawns at hatcheries and curbs pollution and disease in the farm tanks and the second, that is a farmer’s delight – aiding the lush growth in fields and plantations.

“We are happy we have turned our learning into a business but the pandemic years have badly affected us,” says Kennithraj.

The man who was born in Pattinapakkam and claims that the late AIADMK party leader, film star and chief minister of Tamil Nadu, M G Ramachandran named him when he was a baby, owned a boat and was a dedicated fisherman off the Marina’s coastline till the CIBA project chose him in 2018.

Vailankanni joined her husband when CIBA helped them set up a small unit to recycle the fish waste. “We had no land of our own so we worked in one room of our house and it would stink and our neighbours would curse us,” says Kennithraj whose venture is called V S Fish Waste Hydrolysate

Raw waste is collected from fisher folks and fish hawkers and after grinding it wet, is processed to make the liquid Plankton Plus meant for the prawn farms and HortiPlus that farmers and gardeners buy.

The couple shifted operations to Kasimedu in north Chennai where they could access large amounts of waste and renting space was a bit easy. They also manufactured a larger unit that ground and processed the waste. The unit now employs 15 people. “We can make these products on a big scale but we need our state government to endorse the products and help us market it to the big buyers,” says Vailankanni.

Sourcing fish waste is not an easy affair. It is managed by agents whose workers man the harbour front and can be unreliable at times. The couple were frustrated with the attitude of fisherfolk on the Marina front. ‘They demanded more money for the waste, saying we made big money and after we moved out, they dumped the fish waste in the sands,” says Kennithraj.

The couple was recognised by the Govt. of India a year ago for their entrepreneurial spirit in this field and given an award in New Delhi. They invested the money they received in the Kasimedu plant.

“If our products get recommended they will do well and so will our business,” says Kennithraj.

If you need 3/5 kilos of HortiPlus for your garden, ping the couple at – 9940252803.

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