Soon Michigan may want to rethink the suit to close links between Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River basin. Today the Illinois governor (who has not yet been indicted) announced an agreement, which may make us take a second look at the claim Asian carp will destroy a prosperous Great Lakes fishery. The fishery is currently reported to be worth $7 billion (with a B) annually.
The details are as clear as you'd expect from a press release, but it appears the state will provide Big River Fish with $2 million in funding to expand their production capacity. Reportedly, the upgrade will expand production to allow 30 million (with an M) pounds of Asian carp annually. The fish will be exported to China, where a processing plant has agreed to repatriate the slimy buggers.
The article states the invasive carp can fetch between $0.10 and 0.15 per pound for a fisherman. If we consider the anticipated 30 million pounds at 10 cents per pound, the deal is worth $3 million annually to area commercial fisherman. If we can get a few more plants operational we'll be starting to get somewhere.
In seriousness, I doubt the news will change the sentiment about Asian carp in the Great Lakes. However, just like big corporations finding intelligent ways to remain profitable under strict regulation, these guys have figured out how to adapt to the tough cards they've been dealt.
So far we've seen Asian carp tournaments where the winning boat brought in 4150 fish and a few entrepreneurs have created a booming "aerial bowfishing" industry. With today's news, it seems the market for Asian carp meat is flirting with maturity. Yea capitalism!