Invasive Asian carp have been the scourge of US waterways for quite some time now, but several entrepreneurs may have found a way to fight them: sell them to the Chinese to eat. It’s probably the one time Chinese diners’ knack for wiping out species will be put to good use (snap!). WSJ reports:
Unlike Americans, who often consider carp too bony, people there fancy the fish. Last year, 58-year-old Chinese-American businesswoman Angie Yu opened Two Rivers Fisheries in this small town near the confluence of the Mississippi and Ohio Rivers. So far, she says she has shipped a half-million pounds of frozen Asian carp to China. There, carp is generally farmed and tastes like mud, Ms. Yu says.
She hawks her product as “Kentucky white fish” that is “wild-caught.” A promotional video she created in Chinese, featuring a folksy soundtrack, touts the fish’s origins in the “beautiful and bountiful Mississippi…the nourishing mother river of America.” […]
Though the fish is popular in China, cracking the market is tough. Transportation costs are high. Consumers are accustomed to buying fresh, not frozen, fish. “They keep telling me, ‘Your fish is dead,’ ” says Richard Yang of Big River Fish Corporation in Griggsville, Ill., which exports carp to China and elsewhere. Also, Chinese people like to buy a medium-size whole fish they can eat in one meal, he says, “but ours is like a monster.”
A big seller is carp heads, which Chinese people eat steamed with soy sauce, ginger and hot chili peppers. “People go crazy over the head,” he says. It “has a lot of edible stuff inside.”
Hopefully this means we no longer have to eat the radioactive, five-eyed Hunan Double Pepper Fish Heads from the Huangpu.
This isn’t the first time someone has battled invasive animals by selling them to Chinese. Germany, which views hairy crabs as pests, has profited off of exporting them to China, where they fetch up to 500RMB a piece at banquets.
However, not every place is fortunate enough to be invaded by species on the Chinese menu. We have a hard time imagining Chinese buying “Alabama wild-caught Asian Tiger mosquitos.”