Jacobs says feed carp to inmates
Written by Quad-City TImes   
Saturday, 25 March 2006 14:48

Asian carp clogging Illinois rivers could be used to feed inmates and the starving under a proposal being championed by one lawmaker. Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, called on his fellow lawmakers Friday to earmark $750,000 in state funds to market the voracious, non-native species that can grow up to 100 pounds and crowd out other fish.

“At the end of the day, I think this is going to be a way for us to turn a really terrible problem into a really positive solution,” he said.

The money, which could be included in the state’s next budget plan, would be used to help companies reduce the population of the nuisance fish. Once harvested, the fish could be transformed into plant fertilizer or used to provide a cheap food source for prisoners and the poor worldwide, Jacobs said.

Schafer Fisheries, located in Thomson, Ill., markets about 2 million pounds of Asian carp a year, company president Mike Schafer said.

Schafer said he sells most of his product to Asian communities in the United States.

Carp’s reputation as a dirty fish is unfounded, he said.

“The only country in the whole world that has problem with carp is the United States,” he said. “Carp is a good eating fish. Smoked carp, in my opinion, is better than salmon.“

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