As 2011 draws to a close, the Mayor of Grafton is excited about the possibility of new industry coming to town. Many river towns have a thriving fishing industry, but the invasive Asian Carp has pushed many native species out. A new plan aims to harvest all the Asian Carp and make some money at it too.
Asian Carp is considered a delicacy in much of Asia and parts of Europe, so 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 Grafton Mayor Tom Thompson.
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.