«

»

Sep 12

Species Profile: Asian carp

Asian carp are big fish with big impacts, but they also show big promise as a target for invasivores.

The moniker “Asian carp” can be applied to many large-bodied Asian fish species, several of which have achieved notoriety as devastating invaders around the globe.  In recent years, the bighead carp Hypopthalmichthys nobilis and the silver carp H. molitrix have received considerable attention as populations have moved northward through the Mississippi River basin towards the Laurentian Great Lakes.  Much of that attention comes from their role in the development of environmental DNA detection as a surveillance tool, which we will cover in more detail later this week, but these species also have dramatic impacts on invaded systems and have served as a poster child in the invasivore movement.

The primary impact of these fish comes from their appetite- bighead and silver carp are voracious herbivores with the potential to outcompete native fish for food.  Many officials are concerned that if these fish make it into the Great Lakes, the nearly $7 billion a year sport and commercial fishing industries will suffer catastrophic losses.  Silver carp have also become a sensation on Youtube for their jumping abilities.  While videos of the flying fish, which jump when frightened by watercraft, can be entertaining, the jumping fish have been known to seriously injure passing boaters.

Bighead and silver carp are also a prime target of invasivores.  They recently appeared on the Food & Water Watch Smart Seafood Guide, and many professionals such as Chef Philippe Parola have dedicated time and effort to cooking and marketing Asian carp.  Several non-food uses for Asian carp have also emerged, including the production of fertilizer.

The many potential uses of Asian carp provide only a dull silver lining to the invasion, given the potentially devastating impacts that accompany their establishment.  Later this week, we’ll provide a closer look into the research and management efforts aimed at understanding and controlling the US invasion.

1 comment

22 pings

Skip to comment form

  1. G. R. Bond

    My late aunt canned “regular” carp for years, pressure canning in pint jars – she added a tbsp of vinegar and a tsp of salt to a jar packed wth fish, added NO water, pressured per canner directions. She used them like salmon, patties, casseroles, etc. – the vinegar softened the bones [just like salmon bones] and they had lots of good meals -she and my uncle both loved to fish and lived through the Depression, so this was something they ate for many, many years [they lacked 5 days of being married 80 years, so it obviously didn’t hurt them any! I see no reason why it wouldn’t work on any other carp species either.

  1. Roundup for September 24, 2011 | Invasivore.org

    [...] « Species Profile: Asian carp [...]

  2. Weekly Roundup, October 2, 2011 | Invasivore.org

    [...] Philippe Parola aims to change minds about eating Asian carp.  Maybe people should try the Asian carp chorizo being cooked up at [...]

  3. Out to Eat! February 18, 2012 | Invasivore.org

    [...] An Illinois lawmaker suggests fishermen bring out the heavy artillery against Asian carp [...]

  4. Out to Eat! March 3, 2012 | Invasivore.org

    [...] week, Asian carp received dubious honors as National Geographic’s Freshwater Species of the [...]

  5. World Water Day 2012! | Invasivore.org

    [...] Asian Carp [...]

  6. Out to Eat! May 5, 2012 | Invasivore.org

    [...] High school students in Michigan learn about invasions while cooking Asian carp [...]

  7. Out to Eat! Weekly Roundup | Invasivore.org

    [...] WI Sea Grant’s Tim Campbell reflects on eating Asian carp [...]

  8. Invasivore Goes Redneck | Invasivore.org

    [...] town of Bath, Illinois.  In the tournament, teams compete to see who can collect the most invasive Asian carp from the Illinois River in two hours.  Bucking traditional ecological sampling strategies such as [...]

  9. Out to Eat! September 29, 2012 | Invasivore.org

    [...] control of Asian carp in [...]

  10. Out to Eat! February 16, 2013 | Invasivore.org

    [...] Madness!  March fishing tournament targets Asian carp in [...]

  11. Out to Eat! March 16, 2013 | Invasivore.org

    [...] Madness fishing tournament fights Asian carp in [...]

  12. Recipe: Jamaican Jerk Carp | Invasivore.org

    […] t salt 2 pounds Asian carp fillets (skin […]

  13. Recipe: Fried Asian Carp | Invasivore.org

    […] pounds Asian carp fillets, cut into […]

  14. Out to Eat! August 31,2013 | Invasivore.org

    […] harvest of Asian carp in the Illinois […]

  15. Alewife harvest in lake Michican | Invasivore.org

    […]  The first is the popular perception is that harvesting invasive species may save the day, sending Asian Carp and feral pigs the way of the buffalo.  The other argument is that if economic values become […]

  16. Recipe: Asian Carp Fritters | Invasivore.org

    […] pound Asian carp […]

  17. Recipe: Smoked Asian Carp | Invasivore.org

    […] pounds Asian carp steaks or fillets (skin […]

  18. Friday Feast! December 6, 2013 | Invasivore.org

    […] Locavore Hunter Jackson Landers reflects on Asian carp […]

  19. Friday Feast! March 28, 2014 | Invasivore.org

    […] Grist is writing about eating Asian Carp […]

  20. Friday Feast! May 9, 2014 » Invasivore.org

    […] Illinois Department of Natural Resources is sponsoring an Asian Carp fishing tourney July […]

  21. Friday Feast! June 27, 2014 | Invasivore.org

    […] Asian Carp have received a new name in Minnesota […]

  22. Friday Feast! July 25, 2014 | Invasivore.org

    […] fishermen are harvesting large amounts of Asian Carp in […]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


*

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>