WICKLIFFE, KY (KFVS) - Commercial fishing of Asian carp is catching on in the Heartland, and the new business ventures hope to reduce problems the invasive species create while boosting the local economy.
Investors behind the creation of the ‘International Fisheries Industrial Park’ in Wickliffe, Kentucky unveiled their plans at an event at Two Rivers Fisheries on Friday, April 12.
The property already has three fisheries and seven new investors are now on board to develop zero-waste facilities dedicated to harvesting the troublesome fish.
Dr. He is the Development Manager for Two Rivers and the new industrial park. Over the last seven years, the fishery has harvested more than 10 million pounds of Asian carp from bodies of water in the Heartland.
Dr. He says creating even more demand for the fish can be a win-win situation.
“If we look at it from a different perspective the problem could be a goldmine,” Dr. He said. “I know that we are always reading news that Asian carp are threatening $7 billion per year in the great lakes fishing industry. It is true. But at the same time if we can save those $7 billion dollars while creating another $7 billion dollar industry well that would be even better.”
Investor Hongwei Zhu of china tells Heartland News through a translator that he just decided to buy a plot of land Friday morning.
Zhu owns hotels and catering companies and says Asian carp he’s seen here have more meat and feed mainly feed on algae.
“They are much higher in quality," Zhu said. "They are much more nutritious and it will be much more valuable in the market.”
As the trade war between the US and China continues on the national level Erran F. Persley, Kentucky’s Commissioner for Economic Development, says this Industrial Park is a symbol the two countries can still work together.
“You guys have public-private partnerships. You have created great relationships between the US and China and created a creative cluster of businesses here in Western Kentucky,” Persley said.
Angie Yu, the president of Two Rivers, said the international industrial park will create at least 150 full time jobs and a lot of indirect and part time work for fisherman and construction companies.
Yu says four plots of land at the park are still available for other companies that have an interest in harvesting Asian Carp.
This is how one Heartland business is making the most out of the fish that many see as a nuisance.