This incredibly invasive species, originally brought to the southern U.S. to help clean commercial catfish operations, has since spread voraciously up the Mississippi river system, choking out indigenous fish stocks as they swim north.
“Eradication is not possible, but if a sufficient demand for the fish can be generated, we may be able to control their numbers,” reads the Louisiana Department of Wildlife and Fisheries website. In other words, if they can’t stop them, they’ll eat them. The department is teaming up with chef Philippe Parola on what’s being called the “Silverfin Promotion” (much like the Patagonian Toothfish became Chilean Sea bass, the name Silverfin is thought to be more menu friendly than Asian Carp).
According to the department, Parola has determined that the fish’s meat is actually of quite high calibre, appropriate for any number of applications. One stumbling block, however, is a complicated set of floating bones that can make the filleting process tricky.
Regardless of the time commitment, convincing consumers to develop an appetite for the pesky intruder could be the best defense yet for our coveted Great Lakes freshwater fish industry.
To read more about the process, some menu applications and see a video of the fish prep process, click here.