ST. LOUIS (KMOX)- One metro east group is turning an asian carp problem into a profit.
American Heartland Fish Products is developing a processing plant for asian carp in Grafton, Ill.
Gray “Butch” Magee, CEO of American Heartland Fish Products, says his group got together 2 years ago, and saw the evasive fish jumping out of the rivers and decided there was something they could do.
“We developed over the last couple of years a process of putting a plant in Grafton and aiming it towards the asian carp,” Magee says.
According to Magee, the federal government and state government wanted the asian carp removed from the rivers because it’s not a bottom eating fish, and it only eats plankton. Therefore, it destroys other species by eating their food.
Magee says the group can process the fish and export it to Asian countries or turn it into fish meal or fish oil.
“That makes our plant very unique in that we have a way to make a 100 percent green operation by having no odor or sewage problems at all from the plant,” Magee says.
Unfortunately, other fish could be bothered while they capture the carp. Magee says there’s no way around it. However, the majority of fish caught are asian carp.
“As of right now, every time they set that net out, they’re getting about 80 percent of silver carp and big head carp,” Magee says.
Magee says their first step in this process is to make fish meal and fish oi when they get their equipment which will be in 2 to 3 months.
“If the markets are there, the processing of the fish will probably be ready in about 5 months,” Magee says.