(Reposted from The Rural Blog)
The use of market forces to fight Asian carp may be taking a hard turn. By turning the fish into concrete.
For several years, companies in the mid-Mississippi River valley have been buying and processing the fish, largely for the Chinese market. To expand the market and get more anglers interested in fishing for them, civil engineer James Nobles developed a way to use by-products from processing as an ingredient in concrete.
“The main thing is to make (carp-crete) profitable for the fishermen so we can bring more people in to catch these fish and get them out of this lake,” said Western Kentucky marina operator Wayne Breedlove, who hosted a pour of “carp-crete” this week, covered by Laurel Black of The Paducah Sun. “It’s getting to the point where it’s dangerous for these boaters.”
“Asian carp pose a threat to the $1.2 billion fishing and recreational boating industries in Western Kentucky, and are wreaking similar havoc in Tennessee,” Black notes. “The carp consume forage that popular species, like bass, rely on to survive, and one species is known to jump out of the water when startled, potentially causing injury to boaters. If carp-crete proves successful, it would help make catching Asian carp more lucrative for commercial fishermen. Commercial harvesting is the best way to manage the Asian carp population, according to the Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency.”
Breedlove told Black that cost has proven to be carp-crete’s only drawback so far. “The carp ash for the carp-crete was produced in Southern Illinois, which is also testing the product,” she reports.