The Asian Carp Crisis

Asian Carp Facts

* Silver Carp
* Grass Carp
* Bighead Carp
* Black Carp

Asian carp generally weigh from 2 to 100 pounds.

* Hypophthalmichtys Molitrix (Silver)
* Hypophthalmichtys Nobilis (Bighead)
* Ctenopharyngodon Idella (Grass)
* Mylopharyngodon Piceus (Black) 

Carp is a very hardy fish capable of surviving temperatures from near freezing to 96 degrees Fahrenheit. The Carp’s ability to absorb atmospheric oxygen, allows it to live longer than most fish in a deoxygenated aquatic environment. Carp originated in Asia but has flourished almost everywhere it has been introduced. Carp, introduced to the U.S. in the 1970’s, has been reported from within or along the borders of at least 20 states mostly in and around the Mississippi River Basin. These four Carp species are rapidly growing into other areas of the United States, causing a huge ecological problem for rivers, streams, lakes, and the commercial and sport fishing industries.

Carp is an excellent food for human consumption. Tasty and healthy, Carp contain less than 2% fat, no carbohydrates, are high in calcium and protein, as well as Omega 3's. On a worldwide scale, Carp provide more protein for consumption than cattle.

The many bones within the Carp fish have kept it out of the United States fresh fish consumer markets. Worldwide, Carp is the most eaten fish and it has a heritage in Europe and Asia as a menu item for royalty as a delicacy food. The Carp product flesh is firm, clean and slightly translucent with a metallic sheen like that of whitefish and trout. The flesh when processed is bland and light in color making it very versatile with a taste that is comparable to Pollock, not fishy.

At present in the U.S., Carp is processed as head on and gutted, frozen skin-on or skinless fillets (I.Q.F. or block), and mechanically deboned (minced). Product form of minced (mush) may be used in fish sticks, patties, fish paste, soups, surimi, fish jelly (kamaboko) or dehydrated fish powder.

Asian Carp Facts

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