RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – You can’t talk about North Carolina food without including what comes out the ocean, sounds, rivers, and lakes.

Our seafood is sold all over the world and a lot of it stays right here at home. But, it may surprise you how much of the fish from the filet you eat goes to waste. 

“When you cut the filets out of it there’s a lot of carcass, there’s a lot of head a lot of head meat in here, there’s still a lot of meat in between the bones,” said Ryan Speckman with Locals Seafood while demonstrating with the remains of a fish. 

That’s 50 to 60 percent of the fish. Some of it is used to feed livestock or for fertilizer. Speckman, however, has other ideas. 

“I just decided, ‘Well, this is a taxpayer resource. We should be using 100 percent of it.’ So, we want to take this resource and make it a usable product for our pets, as well,” he said. 

Speckman owns Locals Seafood as well as an oyster bar at Transfer Company Food Hall in downtown Raleigh.

He got the pet treat idea several years ago when he was thinking about other food options for his dogs. Now with the help of a 10 thousand dollar grant from Wake County, Speckman and his team will be using leftover fish parts to make dog treats. 

“It’s high protein, low fat, [with] Omega-3 fatty acids. [A] lot of your trace minerals that you can’t get in any other proteins are going to be in this product so there’s a lot of value in this.”

The treats will come in frozen portions with no additives and can be added to your dog’s regular diet. It also keeps the leftovers from going to the landfill. 

“It’s taking something that has little to no perceived value and giving it a higher value,” said Speckman.

The plans have to be approved by the USDA and Department of Agriculture and should roll out this fall. 

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