U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Midwest Region

A Non-Profit Might Solve the Asian Carp Epidemic—by Turning Them into Pet Food

They seem very close to putting a dent in the Asian carp population across the US.

As we all know by now, our waterways across the US have an exploding Asian carp problem. Very little has been able to stop this invasive species from traveling anywhere it wants. Currently, millions of dollars are being spent to keep these fish from entering the Great Lakes. However, if they do, they would spread even farther and decimate the fish populations in those lakes.

Now, one American non-profit is entering final phase of testing to turn these fish into pet food.

Carpbusters was founded on January 1, 2000. Their mission has been to reduce invasive carp and other invasive species as ethically and effectively as possible. It seems like a no-brainer that our biggest invasive species in our water, the Asian carp, should have been turned into pet food years ago, but there's been one simple problem, thiaminase. Not to get too technical, but carp contain this enzyme. Therefore, too much of this enzyme is very harmful to pets and wild animals alike. For this simple reason, carp have been very hard to turn into pet food.

"After almost a decade of research Carpbusters inc. is confident we have solved the thiaminase issue in carp that limited its use in pet foods," says Ellen Dierenfeld, PhD and lead nutritionist on the project in a press release. "If Carpbusters final trials are successful, they will be partnering with pet food manufacturers across the globe to find a good use for this bad fish."

Who knows? If this catches on, there could be an entire new commercial fishery opening up just for Asian carp. Wouldn't that be sweet!