What to do with invasive Asian carp? Turn them into fish food!

Grass carp (image via Wikipedia)

Asian carp are an invasive species in North America, particularly the Mississippi Basin, and there are growing concerns that they may transition from ponds and streams into the Great Lakes.

But new research from Illinois is showing that these pests might have some benefits, as a source of fishmeal for farmed fish.

“Previous SIU research established Asian carp meal as equal to or better than marine-based fish meal in aquaculture diets, and helped set standards for using soybean meal in aquaculture. We took our understanding of protein for carnivorous fish feed a step further by demonstrating synergies between local protein sources – soybeans and invasive fish.”

— Jesse Trushenski, associate professor at SIU’s Center for Fisheries Aquaculture and Aquatic Sciences in Carbondale, Ill.

The research trial used 25% soybean meal and 18% Asian carp meal, and results were quite successful.

We’d be interested to see how this would work in a trial feeding farmed salmon, because more sustainable feed ingredients are always a good thing.

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