An exploding population of sea stars in Limfjord is damaging the area’s fishing industry.
There may be as many as 50 sea stars per square metre and for some years now, this has caused problems for fishermen because they eat the clams and oysters the industry depends on.
A solution may be in sight, though – turning the marine pests into food.
Project STARPRO is a four-year-old collaboration supported by the Danish food and environment ministry and it has found a sustainable way to turn the sea stars into a type of flour.
“When a large crowd of sea stars pass over a bank of clams and oysters, they consume all of them within a surprisingly short time span,” said professor Jens Kjerulf Petersen from DTU Aqua and project manager of STARPRO.
“Universities, fishermen and food producers have come together to create a flour made of sea stars as part of an organic fodder production.”
A specially-designed piece of equipment has been developed to ‘harvest’ the sea stars in a sustainable way before they are delivered to the factory to be turned into flour.
The new factory will open at Kåstrup near Skive in Jutland on March 29.