Asian Carp could help us solve hunger problems

My name is Michael Tran, majoring in Applied Mathematics at Southern Methodist University. I became a part of Unbridled Learning Project, doing research about Asian Carp which are known as an invader species on the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers.

The project requires me to travel from places to places through out Illinois state, starting from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale (SIUC). When I was at SIUC, I had a chance to meet and discuss with Dr. James Garvey, who is a Director of Fisheries and Aquaculture Center at this school. Dr. Garvey has been working on the Asian Carp issue during the last 12 months. They received a grant of $2.8 million from Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI). They have been monitoring the fish and figuring out patterns of their movements along Mississippi and Illinois river.


A picture of mine in front of Lake Michigan

I left Carbondale after 4 hours of talking to Dr. James Garvey. I drove down to Golconda, which is a small town in the South of Illinois. I have met and talked to many local people, surveyed their reactions toward Asian Carp. According to Kenny Bradford, a local retired fishermen, “Asian Carp has a huge impact to local area as well as wherever that the Illinois or Mississippi River passes through. Those fish can jump very high out of the water and it could hit you in the face.”

I stayed in Golconda for 3 days to study about the Asian Carp. I have had a chance to go on the boat and have seen a lot of fish jumping. “They get scared when a boat goes by”, said to Kenny.


Kenny Bradford and I after a trip on Ohio River

Left Golconda, I continued my journey to another town call Thomson. I have met and had great conversation with Mike Schafer, who is the owner of Schafer Fisheries.


Mike Schafer – the owner of Schafer Fisheries

 Mike has created many plans in order to help get rid of the Asian Carp. He supplies Asian Carp product such as liquid fertilize, animals food (for dog or cat), or even hotdog for human consumption. His products are now available at more than 16 countries around the world, such as South Africa, Israel, Hongkong, China, Singapore…

When asked about humanitarian food aid, Mike replied, “It is very hard to do since we do not have any supports from the government. We need to be funded.”

The biggest goal of my project after studying feasibility and toxicology is creating a humanitarian food source in order to help the hungers around the world. It can be done and if it happens the way I predicted, there would be a huge benefit; not only for America, but also for many other countries around the world.


 The fish are being cleaned before they go through the ‘de-bonding’ machine


 This is common Carp, not the Asian Carp which dominating the Illinois and Mississippi river


 Joe (left) is an IT engineer and James Schafer (right) is the son of the owner, who is also the general manager of Schafer Fisheries


Asian Carp can jump very high out of the water when they are shocked by electricity


According to the study of SIUC, they estimated there would be more than 12,000 Asian Carp on each river mile


 Solving Asian Carp problem can help creating jobs in the local area. These fishermen can earn up to $4,000 per day, based on how many fish they caught.


 It’s also helps to create jobs in the factories. The salaries for these workers range from $8.00 to $12.50


 After sorting the fish, they are going to be frozen for different purposes of usage. It can be used as fertilizer, foods for animals consumption, or even for human consumption. 


These hotdogs are very tasty, it even better than any hotdogs you would find in the supermarket. 

There are many debates whether or not this fish can be a good nutrition source, Americans seem do not interest when consider using Asian Carp for their meals. According to the study from Southern Illinois University at Carbondale, Asian Carp is very high in Omega 3, low fat and also low contaminated level.


Imagine one day that Asian Carp could make their way to get into the Great Lakes, the view will no longer be as beautiful as it shown in the picture. If we do not have an appropriate action in the short time, it will soon becomes a nightmare.

Watch a video made by Michael about his project

Share on Facebook
This entry was posted in Research and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

17 Responses to Asian Carp could help us solve hunger problems

  1. Shannon says:

    This is interesting stuff. Are the water temperatures much cooler in the north where these particular common carp are? I am wondering if their diets are different due to water differences. I heard about a way to clean common carp that gets rid of the bones very efficiently (he is a South American and has seen it done). What is the main use of the Asian carp?

  2. natasja du plessis says:

    If I were willing to breed fish in south africa, what interest would you have in a business here?

  3. The population increases of Asian Carp need to be fully understood before actions are taken to control their numbers. Possible solutions are to decrease their food supply or increase predators and even increase fishing. Yet without understanding the habitat fully and the impact of any man made interventions, any efforts could have a detrimental effect on the ecosystem. It’s quite a problem, so I can understand why you are dedicating the time to the research.

  4. Norma Faus says:

    May I simply just say what a comfort to find someone that actually understands what they’re discussing on the web. You certainly realize how to bring a problem to light and make it important. More people really need to check this out and understand this side of the story. I can’t believe you aren’t more popular since you certainly have the gift.

  5. Michael Tran says:

    Hi Ocean,
    Thanks for interesting to my topic. As you may know, when Asian Carp got to a certain size, there is not capable predator and therefore their population keep increasing exponentially. The biggest issue right now is trying to slow down their increase in population.

    There have been many solutions such as water gun, or dumping toxic into the water…. that have costed many millions of dollars, the number will soon exceed billion. Instead of spending those money, we will need some of that as an investment for humanitarian food aid… Hotdog, as you have seen in the picture, is a good example of what we can do from Asian Carp. Furthermore, I don’t think that harvesting massive amount of Asian Carp would hurt the ecosystem, instead it would help to balance the ecosystem.

  6. Michael Tran says:

    I would be very interesting to be partner with you in order to bring Asian Carp product to South Africa. There are a lot of work need to be done before that action can take place. The research need to be completed before I can do anything further. However, the business like this always interesting me. Feel free to contact me for further details at


  7. Michael Tran says:

    Currently, Asian Carp are used to produce fertilize (mostly) and most of American have not yet accepted Asian Carp as a food supply. However, there is a huge market for Asian Carp elsewhere such as Asian or Africa. If we can make a nice product out of Asian Carp, it will pay off all the expenses that the government has spent on killing them.

  8. Free Dating says:

    A powerful share, I simply given this onto a colleague who was doing a little bit evaluation on this. And he the truth is bought me breakfast as a result of I found it for him.. smile. So let me reword that: Thnx for the treat! But yeah Thnkx for spending the time to debate this, I feel strongly about it and love studying more on this topic. If potential, as you turn into experience, would you mind updating your weblog with more details? It’s extremely useful for me. Big thumb up for this weblog post!

  9. John Deerman says:

    Asian food is every bit as diverse as it is delicious. I used to think that I knew Asian foods growing up. You see, we used to go out to Chinese and practically every weekend. They were a couple Chinese restaurants in the neighborhood, and they were perfect for us kids. They were greasy, flavorful, and we got a cookie at the end of every meal. What more could a child ask for?.

    Most recently released short article on our own web site

  10. We are curious along with interested in what you are writing about right here.

  11. Tamesha Co says:

    Different countries have their own specialties in foods. Guess a spot where you can have all these tastes under one roof without roaming the whole world and that too at the same time. Yes, you are right! It’s a restaurant. Here we will discuss about the Asian cuisines and restaurants. Asians are specially known for their versatility in food and food culture. Each part of the continent is full of different kinds of appetizers to satisfy the hunger and urge of each of the food loving person. But it’s wrong on my part if I only discuss about the Asian continent because even in the outer part also Asian food is in great demands and thus attracting foodies towards themselves irrespective of the geographic barrier or taste variations or rather price distinctions. Asian food restaurants are thus turning out day by day to be the best choice of the food loving crowd of world. Either international tastes or hardcore in house tastes, these restaurants are charged with best of the world class chefs who not only are enough competent to smile at you with satisfaction regarding the food but also proliferates their duty to much wider areas of the restaurants like that of the customer service fragments, clearance of food related issues etc.;

    Kindly visit our new web site as well

  12. Michael Tran says:

    Thank you very much for your support. I just want to do my part to protect the natural resource. Instead of spending multi million dollar to kill and throw away, there should be something that we could do with this specie.

  13. Michael Tran says:

    Thank you for your support, as I am working on the final report, there should be another post regarding to this topic soon.

  14. Sarai Kurpiel says:

    Data on global food aid deliveries in metric tons are from the database of the International Food Aid Information System (INTERFAIS), which was developed by WFP as a contribution to a coordinated international response to food aid shortages. INTERFAIS is a dynamic system, which involves the interaction of all users, represented by donor governments, international organizations, non-governmental organizations, recipient countries and WFP field offices. They are sharing information and data on food aid transactions.`.

    My current web page

  15. chat says:

    Greetings from Ohio! I’m bored at work so I decided to check out your site on my iphone during lunch break. I really like the info you present here and can’t wait to take a look when I get home. I’m surprised at how fast your blog loaded on my cell phone .. I’m not even using WIFI, just 3G .. Anyhow, great blog!

  16. I suppose it would be the most obvious idea, seen as there is many Asian Carp! Here in the UK carp are more valued and strictly catch and release.

  17. MADISON says:

    Excellent post however , I was wondering if you could write a litte more on this subject? I’d be very thankful if you could elaborate a little bit further. Thanks!

Comments are closed.