Asian carp competition draws crowd, market for fish


Reporter - Robert Bradfield
Photojournalist - Randall Barnes

KENTUCKY LAKE - For some, Asian carp may not look appetizing.

"One thing Americans need to know, there is no thing as a bad fish," said chef Phillipe Parola.

Parola thinks Asian carp aren't only delicious, they are lucrative.  "You need to have a good incentive. Its called money.," Parola said.

He wants to commercialize it, but he also knows the name isn't appealing.  So he's pushing for a name change, preferring 'Silver Fin.'

"The name Asian carp just like other type of carp is not very appetizing to the american crowd," he said.

Organizers of the tournament say the fish are becoming too dangerous and populous in area lakes.  "We really need to remove them from our lakes.  They are a threat to our native fish," said Kentucky Fish and Wildlife officer Mark Marraccini

So, chef Parola is pushing for a market here.  He's trying to win over skeptics and unlike other carp, he says asian carp aren't bottom feeders, meaning they are healthier and tastier to eat.

"This fish, on the other hand is a filter fish.  It eats plankton, micro-organisms so that's full of protein to begin with it and its clean," Parola said.