A new twist on an old industry is coming to Grafton. Many river towns have a thriving fishing industry, but the invasive Asian Carp has pushed many native species out. A group of entrepreneurs have decided to locate in Grafton and harvest as much of the nuisance fish as they can catch. While still months away from opening, progress is being made on setting up a building and tying up some loose business ends.
Asian Carp is considered a delicacy in much of Asia and parts of Europe, and American Heartland Fish Products LLC recently closed on property along Route 3 near the confluence of the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. The plan is to build a processing plant and send the fish off to the far-East, according to Jersey County Business Association's Alan Gilmore.
The company is close to signing a deal with China State Farm to provide about 35 million pounds of the fish over a three year contract. There are other Chinese companies also reportedly interested in the product, and owners will be meeting with representatives in the coming weeks.