Tuesday, July 13, 2010

If You Can't Beat 'em... Eat 'em?

That's exactly what Governor Quinn is proposing we do about our Asian Carp problem. These pesky bottom feeders, which are too bony and taste too fishy for our weak American palates, are apparently a delicacy in China. So our esteemed Governor has partnered with the downstate Big River Fisheries and brokered a deal to market this "wild grown" fish to upscale restaurants in China.

The state's initial investment into this innovative initiative is $2 million to upgrade Big River's two facilities, which are some of the only ones in this state already equipped to handle the processing of these massive fish. Projected benefits of this investment include: 60-180 new downstate jobs, a marked reduction of Asian carp in the Mississippi River, and a local product that China actually wants to import. Quinn said that an estimated 30 million pounds of carp will be exported in the first two years of this venture.

Since this unwelcome species was introduced to American waterways down south nearly 30 years ago, they have been migrating north, largely unchecked, destroying native ecosystems as they go. Currently, their continued push has brought them dangerously close to the Great Lakes. If these fish succeed in reaching Lake Michigan, the results could be devastating to nature and industry alike.

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