Silverfin is the marketing name that has been crowned upon the infamous Asian carp, notably, silver and bighead carp. These are the fish that have invaded the Mississippi River system and now threaten to invade the Great Lakes.
This fish can disrupt much of the Great Lakes ecosystem by competing with native and established commercial fish species. The threat is being taken very seriously by basin states and the Federal government, so much so that the administration has recently appointed a “carp czar” to oversee eradication and control of this fish. One control method is to simply get people to eat them, hence “Silverfin”.
Carp has a bad connotation in America. It is associated with dirty and polluted water where other fish can’t live. No one wants to eat anything that comes from those environments (big problem), so one of the first things needed was a name change. Most of these carp are silver carp and bighead carp. In some parts of the world silver carp are also known as silverfin carp so the name really isn’t all that deceptive. Lumping in the bighead carp… well, they are all carp, right?
Silverfin also becomes a better name for these fish because by switching around the two middle letters in “carp” …well, no one wants to eat that either! And in many people’s minds it’s hard to separate the crap from the carp.
The State of Louisiana has produced a video on using these carp, or rather silverfin commercially. They are the state that many credit the introduction of the carp to the US back in the 1970’s for pond cleaning and sewage treatment, so you see, the name change is really a necessity.
If you search the internet you’ll quickly find all sorts of good recipes for Asian carp ranging from fish cakes to tacos. To find the truly gourmet recipes you might want to alter your search to “silverfin”. If everything goes according to plan there could be more and more people who are full of carp. Should make for an interesting election.