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Bill proposes funding for harvesting Asian carp pests

by the Fish Site Editor
01 July 2006, at 1:00am

ILLINOIS - Sen. Mike Jacobs wants to get Asian carp out of Illinois&#39; waterways and onto prisoners&#39; lunch trays as fish patties, but first he&#39;ll have to get other lawmakers to bite. The invasive fish is largely considered an aquatic pest, but the East Moline Democrat wants to more people to consider it as a food source and is proposing $750,000 in state funding to help a commercial fishery harvest and process it. &quot;I think the government needs to help when it can and when no one else will,&quot; Jacobs said in a news conference Tuesday. Schafer Fisheries in Thomson already sells fresh Asian carp to Asian customers overseas and to Asian-American communities, but the market could be expanded to prisons, nursing homes, even schools if there were a demand for the processed patty, said owner Mike Schafer. Asian carp also can be processed into a fish extract used in gardening and the head is considered an Asian delicacy. Schafer said his company, which is in Jacobs&#39; legislative district, has invested about $1.4 million on a processing plant. The $750,000 from the state could buy the processing equipment. Jacobs also hopes the project would attract some private funding. <i>Source: The Times</i>

the Fish Site Editor