Chicago Sun-Times
A dialog between Sun-Times opinion writers and our readers

Is 30 million pounds a lot of carp? Yes

| 1 Comment | No TrackBacks

On Tuesday, Gov. Quinn announced Illinois would harvest dreaded Asian carp from the state's waterways and sell it as a delicacy in China. 07.13.10_GOV_Asian_Carp_Agreement_RELEASE-1.pdf

The upside? Creation of 180 new jobs. Export revenues for Illinois. And fewer carp. To be precise, 30 million fewer pounds of carp by the end of 2011.

But is that enough to make a difference?

Fish biologists seem to think so. Already, it requires longer hours of work and smaller-mesh nets to catch the fish because many of the largest ones have been caught and the overall numbers seem to be down.

Asian carp have pushed north to an electric barrier near Romeoville, threatening to get into the Great Lakes and possibly devastating the lakes' huge commercial fishing industry. If commercial fishing can reduce the number of carp in the rivers below the barrier, it could ease the pressure and reduce the chance that rogue fish would swim through.

Kevin Irons, a large river ecologist with the Illinois Natural History Survey, estimates that a million pounds of carp a month already are being harvested. (Few of those are going to China.) Taking 30 million more pounds through the end of next year would be significant.

As reviled as the carp are here for posing a threat to the Great Lakes, Mr. Liang Chang, chairman of Beijing Zhuochen Animal Husbandry Co., said in a statement: "The high quality and taste of the wild Asian carp from [Downstate Illinois processor] Big River Fish far exceeded our expectations. We see a tremendous market in China for the wild Asian carp."

Follow BackTalk on Twitter@stbacktalk

No TrackBacks

TrackBack URL: http://blogs.suntimes.com/cgi-bin/mt-tb.cgi/33848

1 Comment

We ate every last passenger pigeon. With billions of Cinese helping it shouldn't take long to thin out our Asian carp.

Leave a comment

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Thomas Frisbie published on July 13, 2010 2:47 PM.

How can a Happy Meal make us so unhappy? was the previous entry in this blog.

U. of I., diocese to meet, discuss terminated professor is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.