A factory fishing vessel in Tennessee is looking to turn eliminating invasive carp into a profitable business.
As all outdoorsmen know, Asian carp are currently devastating our local waterways. Since their introduction, they have quickly spread across the U.S., destroying fragile ecosystems.
Nationwide, fish and wildlife agencies are banding together to find a solution to stop the carps advancement into any new waters.
Luckily for them, a fisherman by the name of Joe Gillas is looking to help.
His company, Riverine Fisheries International, wants to set up a floating fishing factory to target carp for market.
They want to place a 350-foot long fishing vessel (pictured below) at the Port of Cates Landing near Tiptonville, Tennessee. This will allow them easy access to large carp populations in the Mississippi River.
“I think there’s a good business model here,” Gillas told USA Today. “I think we can do something good and make money at the same time.”
While not as popular here stateside, carp are eaten heavily overseas in places like Russia and China.
Gillas is currently waiting on the Corps of Engineers to approve a permit to authorize his $18 million dollar operation. It will also employ 100 people to help run warehouses, logistics centers, and more.
Once approved they will use a number of smaller vessels within a 400-mile area to net the fish. Trucks will then deliver catches to the floating factory for processing and shipping.
The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Agency is offering their full support to Gillas and his company. Carp are their number one fisheries concern and they hope companies like Gillas’s make a difference.
Riverine Fisheries isn’t the first company trying to make a profit off the destructive fish. Augusta Fisheries in Samburg, Tennessee is a smaller operation that also exports carp overseas.
All photos via Riverine Fisheries.