COLUMBIA, Mo. – A researcher from the University of Missouri’s College of Agriculture, Food and Natural Resources has a plan to use Asian carp to address worldwide food insecurity.
Asian carp are an invasive species in North America that “out-compete native species, steeply decrease biodiversity in waterways and pose a threat to commercial and recreational fishing,” according to the University of Missouri.
“Taken as a nutritional supplement, these fish, which have high amounts of macro and micronutrients, could have an incredibly positive impact on society while we loosen their hold on our waterways at the same time,” Associate Professor in the School of Natural Resources Mark Morgan said.
He has successfully tested the use of Asian carp as a fine powder to use as a food additive or supplement. This end product also has a long shelf life.
“In Haiti, for example, almost 50% of women of reproductive age are anemic. With these fish, the iron and protein content alone are a natural solution to a global malnutrition crisis. It’s exciting to consider the possibilities of who this powder could help,” Morgan said.
Silver carp also are good sources of calcium, potassium, Omega-3 fatty acids and all nine essential amino acids.
Asian Carp were first introduced in America nearly 50 years ago in an effort to control algae and weed growth. The fish made it into the Mississippi River and then spread throughout the South and Midwest.
“If Asian carp infiltrate the Great Lakes, they could inflict billions of dollars of damage to the region’s fishing industries,” the University of Missouri said.
The silver carp is able to jump out of the water and University of Missouri said the behavior can injure people and damage boats.