Let Them Eat Asian Carp?

Milwaukee activists respond to IL DNR campaign

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by Michele McCormack

MILWAUKEE-The non profit group Milwaukee River Keeper doesn't think it's possible to eat the Asian Carp out of existence.

They're speaking out to CBS 58 after the launch of a campaign by the Illinois DNR to convince folks that this fish with a bad reputation has great taste.

The IDNR has partnered with Feeding Illinois in hosting hundreds of children, adults and families to gourmet Asian Carp dishes.

“We want people to know how good this fish can taste and how it can be prepared easily,” said IDNR Director Marc Miller. “Our ‘Target Hunger Now!’ program is developing ways to serve Asian carp that are threatening our waterways and using these fish to make nutritious dishes for Illinois families.”

The IDNR says it's working on a variety of fronts with the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee to eradicate the threat posed by non-native Asian carp and prevent them from establishing a population in the Great Lakes.

Karen Schapiro of Milwaukee River Keeper has long been trying to persuade Illinois and federal authorities that a permanent barrier is the only way to stop the threat of Asian Carp entering the Great Lakes Basin.

The fear in Wisconsin and other states in the upper Midwest that the rapidly reproducing carp will eat all the food sources and kill off native fish and wipe out the seven billion dollar fishing industry.

"Nobody wants people to be hungry," Schapiro tells CBS 58's Michele McCormack, "But, harvesting the Asian Carp, we don't want to see a market created for it to feed people."

"As a short term or interim measure to help reduce the population I don't see anything wrong with that" she continued, " But I don't want anyone to be distracted either Illinois or the Federal Government from finding immediately long term solutions to keep the Asian Carp out of our Great Lakes Basin."

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