Save the Great Lakes By Eating Asian Carp? Save the Great Lakes By Eating Asian Carp?
The GOOD Life

Save the Great Lakes By Eating Asian Carp?

by Ben Jervey

January 29, 2010
If you haven't heard already, the Great Lakes are under assault by a "missile with fins," an invasive species otherwise known as the Asian Carp. They're out-breeding and out-competing pretty much every native species in the Mississippi River and biologists fear that they could decimate the Great Lakes ecosystem.One solution that's been suggested: eat ‘em! One problem: this fish has a nasty reputation, and nobody wants to order up Asian Carp in a restaurant. Which lead the Louisiana Department of Natural Resources to suggest–and I'm serious here–rebranding them as "silverfin." After all, a name change worked for Chilean Sea Bass (formerly the Patagonian toothfish) and the Orange Roughy (which once went by slimehead!).Alas, according to NRDC's Josh Mogerman, even all of America's top chefs couldn't help. "We probably cannot eat enough of the Asian carp to eliminate them before they reach Lake Michigan (they are six miles away and given the lack of urgency from regulators, probably closer). And by developing a market for them you would quickly establish a bunch of folks with a vested interest in keeping the fish around for profit. That's the last thing we need in an already politically charged battle to protect the lakes." What then? Real policy and infrastructure change.Photo: Flickr / IsgcpThis post originally appeared on, as part of GOOD's collaboration with the Pepsi Refresh Project, a catalyst for world-changing ideas. Find out more about the Refresh campaign, or to submit your own idea today.

Ben Jervey More Info

Ben is a writer and editor covering climate change, energy, and environment, and is currently the Climate and Energy Media Fellow at Vermont Law School. He was the original Environment Editor at GOOD Magazine and his work has appeared regularly in National Geographic News, Grist, DeSmogBlog, and OnEarth. He recently worked with the non-profit Focus the Nation to publish an Energy 101 primer. When living in New York City, he wrote a book, The Big Green Apple, on how to live a lower impact life in the city. A bicycle enthusiast, Ben has ridden across the United States and through much of Europe.
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Save the Great Lakes By Eating Asian Carp?