Drop your shovel and pick up your net: There’s gold in them waves!
Squid are being hunted in the Caspian sea not for their meat, but for their precious metal content.
Douglas Graham, of Dorset, has spent years perfecting a method to extract the valuable resource, “We started off figuring out a way to extract toxic heavy metals from fish. Once we discovered that we were getting more than just lead and mercury, that was when we performed a break-even analysis.”
The process is a kind of ‘distillation for metals’, with the details kept deliberately vague.
“The process has taken a decade to become profitable. It is patented, internationally, but we want to get a firm foothold before we release the details.”
The metals are extracted using an electrolytic process, whereby the fish are dried, ground to a fine powder and mixed in a solution. The slurry is then passed through a series of specially designed chambers, each drawing out the precious minerals. The result is that, from 100kg of fish, 30 grams of gold, silver, platinum and copper can be extracted. The rest is sold as fertilizer and filler to make up the shortfall.