Two fishermen turn trash into treasure

Australia's only specialist fish and shark leather tannery was born in the Golden Outback in 1989 when two local fishermen saw the need to recycle skins from the fish processing food industry.

It was this environmentally friendly philosophy and sustainable outlook that was the anchor behind Mermaid Leather, a family-run business that prides itself on its exclusive handcrafted fish leather.

Mermaid Leather produces unique, aesthetically appealing and strong fish and shark leather from food waste from the local fishing industry.

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"We are proudly Australia's only specialist fish and shark leather manufacturer," Mermaid Leather owner/operator David Macdermott said.

"We pride ourselves on producing interesting and unique products. Ladies purses and fashion accessories are very popular. There is no fishy smell because of our process of tanning the skins they become genuine leather. Fish scales and leather scraps are great for crafting, and we even make paper which can be used in all areas of art and craft."

"We run workshops during the school holidays to entertain local and visiting kids alike and we also have a retail shop space in the museum village for locals and tourists."