GRAFTON, Ill. – An Illinois company is the latest to test whether private enterprise can help reduce invasive species by turning them into food.
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American Heartland Fish Products is trying to make money by processing Asian carp into dehydrated animal feed and fish oil. The factory near the tourist town of Grafton, north of St. Louis, opened in April and has been taking in 30 tons of carp a day.
The goal is to profit from carp that have migrated up the Mississippi and Illinois rivers and threaten the Great Lakes. The fish are regarded as a menace because they out-compete native fish for food and habitat.
The carp have drawn little interest as food for U.S. consumers. Profit margins are thin because of freight and fishing costs. And they spoil quickly.