The invasive Asian carp has now been found in 12 states and in the Great Lakes watershed, gobbling up native fish, jumping aggressively into boats and reproducing like crazy. Researchers have tried various ways to slow the spread of the fish as it prowls other waterways.
And, so far, efforts to introduce the big, bony fish to American diners haven't caught on. So now a processing plant in Kentucky is trying the latest method of Asian carp disposal: sending them to China.
At Two Rivers Fisheries in far western Kentucky, Manager Jeff Smith heaves open the large door of the plant's freezer. Inside there are hundreds of rock-hard Asian carp. They're several feet long and hang in tight rows. Before they get here, several employees gut the fish and hang them in the plant's closed-in processing area.
But they won't stay in this facility long. Plant owner Angie Wu ships them to her native country China where they are a prized food. "There are a lot [of carp] in China but most of them are farmed ... not very clean as here," she says.
Wu has shipped more than a half-million pounds of processed carp to China.