Invasive species cost the US $120 billion, every year
1000’s of invasive species wreak havoc with our economy, our native ecosystems, and our livelihood, many of which are edible. Meet one of the most menacing: Asian carp, most notably, silver and bighead.
“Asian carp are taking over and wiping out our native fish,” states Rusty Campbell, a Louisiana fisherman who knows first hand the fragile state of the fishing industry in his homeland.
Catch this video featuring Rusty talking about the rapid rate of the silver’s reproduction. Read about the Asian carp population explosion here.
This video, ‘Commercial and Recreational Fisheries at Risk by Asian Carp,’ features Rusty fishing for Asian carp in Louisiana. He speaks about how prevalent Asian Carp are in Louisiana waterways, the impact on both recreation and commercial fisheries, and the amount of waste and livelihoods lost that occurs due to the fact that there is not a current market for these fish.
Asian carp distribution (2015)
After invading the massive Mississippi River Basin, these huge feisty ravenous fugitives are tearing up rivers beyond the Basin. They are aiming at the Great Lakes and entering Louisiana’s coastal zone. They continue to multiply by millions, devour plankton, and deplete the base of the food chain. They choke out native fish, leaving commercial fisheries and livelihoods crippled. The silver skyrocket, crashing into boaters, causing black eyes and broken bones.
We must protect the Great Lakes
We recognize with gratitude the aid our government has given to help halt Asian carp from harming the Great Lakes. They must continue to do everything in their power to prevent carp from destroying the fisheries economy and ecology of the earth’s largest freshwater ecosystem. They are installing an additional electrical barrier in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, with plans to build a lock and dam downstream from Lake Michigan.
We must also address our nationwide crisis
Asian carp are in at least 28 states and steering toward more. Crucial to resolving the Asian carp crisis is a solution that not only protects the Great Lakes, but also directly tackles the continued destruction that Asian carp impose on native habits and lives throughout the Mississippi River Basin, and our country.
A solution that meets basic human needs and ensures humankind does not pay a hefty price…
In the US, 1 in 5 children suffer from hunger, over 600,000 people are homeless and without proper nutrition, and countless communities are at risk. Yet, we have a bounty of wild natural nutrition rich resources in invasive species that is simply being wasted.
Many methods of invasive species control come with a huge price. Complete eradication, which is often not possible, and toxic methods such as herbicides, pesticides and toxic bio-bullets, come with a huge price tag, and can take years to implement.
If these methods are the only alternative to reduce invasive specie threat, then future generations will rightly judge this era as the most wasteful of humankind. And the millions who need food most, will suffer the biggest cost.
For the past five years, Chef Philippe and his Silverfin™ Group have been working on the only solution that can effectively manage Asian carp’s ever worsening threat to our native habitats and lives: commercial harvest for human consumption in domestic markets.
Robert “Robbie” Walker, Co-owner and General Manager of the Louisiana Seafood Exchange, addresses the importance of this solution to our domestic markets:
“The US is pushing past 80 percent of all seafood consumed being imported. That trend is not abating; instead, it is still gaining. It’s not likely to stop anytime soon. Commercial harvest for human consumption gives us the chance to actually gain some of that domestic production back, and with that revitalize our fisheries and create jobs. This fish is prevalent, it’s easy to harvest, and it’s delicious!”
Moreover, wild, natural Asian carp are clean and safe to eat, unlike the imported fish consumed widely in the United States. Watch this video about catfish production along the polluted Mekong River – the toxic statistics and US consumption rates are alarming.
We must continue to work in partnership with our policy makers to ensure that the native habitats and people who live under the Asian carp’s reign of terror, are readily lifted from harms way nationwide, and given the chance to enjoy a better life.
The time has come to think outside the water
Catch this video from The Scientist featuring Clint Carter of Carter’s Fish Market in Springfield, Illinois, catching and preparing Asian carp. Clint has worked side by side with Chef Philippe to promote the edibility of Asian carp at several outdoor events.
Catch this video from Voice of America News featuring Chef Philippe and Chef Tim Creehan as they team up to wet appetites for Asian carp!
This video is but one example of the work Chef Philippe and his Silverfin™ Group are doing to unite fishery and wildlife leaders, politicians, scientists, fishermen, hunters, chefs and home cooks – to get Asian carp out of the water and onto the plate, and create consumer demand for eating its mildly flavored pearly white meat.
Creating demand: The Silverfin™ brand
Creating consumer demand by transforming Asian carp, an infamous trash fish, into an affordable delicacy for human consumption is no easy task. To start, we gave the fish a fresh brand identity – Silverfin™. But Silverfin™ must also match the perceived quality of the name.
Chef Philippe possesses the skills to prepare the fish. With the help of his Silverfin™ Group, he has developed a unique technique to de-bone this wild caught fish and transform it into delicious, nutritious, convenient and affordable value-added fish products.
And with our mission and goals in action, we have a sure fired recipe for reducing the Asian carp population, and managing their threat.
To provide financial incentives and resources to commercial fishermen to efficiently harvest Asian carp; and to use green technology to transform these wild caught fish into Silverfin™ value-added natural protein food products, for human consumption in domestic markets. By doing so, we will greatly reduce the Asian carp population and their threat to our environment, economy and lives.
Construct an eco-friendly food processing and research and development plant which utilizes ‘green’ technologies to minimize our environmental footprint. Our R&D efforts will focus on three key areas: 1) nutritional value; 2) recipe development and evaluation; and 3) marketing strategies to bring products to the food marketplace.
Preserve our natural resources and ensure safe waterways
Nourish our country and improve our health through wild caught, clean, natural high protein fish
Boost our domestic economies, and save and create jobs
Provide financial incentives and resources to revitalize inland commercial fisheries, and preserve sport fisheries and recreation
Welcome to Can’t Beat ‘Em, Eat ‘Em™ Inc. Please join us to solve our Asian carp crisis.
The Problem and A Solution On April 13, 2016, Chef Philippe and others cooked a Silverfin Wine Dinner for the LA Natural Resources Committee. Below is a page from the program for that dinner. It explains the problem on the left side and portrays a possible solution on the right side. CLICK HERE FOR DETAILS.
To all of you concerned and involved, As you know Asian carp spawning ratio is greater during high river level, river level normally decrease late spring and throughout the summer leaving the entire Mississippi basin water-ways with an alarming growing Asian carp population …. year after year. This includes our beautiful Louisiana state fragile rivers… Read More
Silverfin Wine Dinner for LA Natural Resources Committee
April 13, 2016 Silverfin Wine Dinner for LA Natural Resources Committee With the help of Liz Mangham at Southern Strategy Group, Chef Philippe Parola and other Chefs cooked and served a Silverfin (aka Asian Carp) Wine Dinner hosted by the Louisiana Oil and Gas Association for the Louisiana Natural Resources Committee in Baton Rouge, Louisiana in April.… Read More
VIDEO: Cooking Asian Carp – One Chef’s Plan to Combat Invasive Species
December, 2015 ZAGAT on Youtube.com Asian carp are known as an invasive species due to their aggressive nature and rapid growth, but one Louisiana chef is offering a unique solution when it comes to fighting back. Watch as Zagat travels to central Louisiana to investigate how chef Philippe Parola’s “can’t beat ’em, eat ’em” strategy… Read More
Preserving Louisiana’s waterways and abundant fishing resources are of the utmost importance to me and I want to let you know that the Department stands ready to assist you in your efforts in any way possible and we support your ongoing research and solutions for dealing with this invasive species.
The potential economic impacts of Asian carp to Mississippi’s recreational and commercial fisheries are of great concern… I appreciate your willingness to address the problem that has spread throughout the Mississippi River Valley by developing a commercial fishery and value added products. I also support your plan to develop and market food products from these species that may generate new businesses and new jobs.
After working with silver carp with Chef Philippe, I find its applications almost limitless in regard to its use as a fish or crab product. I think Chef Philippe’s plan to create a market for human consumption for the fish is an amazing opportunity in a world that needs to seriously explore every possible, clean sustainable food source. Silver carp, aka Silverfin™, is easy to match with many flavors. It has a pleasant texture and when people talk about fish flavors and textures they usually find less oily and less fish flavored fish more appealing – Silverfin™ certainly has those attributes.
We have a huge problem with Asian carp. Being a scientist, I have access to long term data that shows our native species are being deleteriously influenced by the Asian carp. I foresee harvesting them as one way we can knock down the population and at the same time, ensure the sustainability of the native species for future generations to enjoy. I don’t want to see our natural resources die. My passion for this solution is to ensure that our native species persist for future generations. I belabor this point because it is so important.