Common carp is the main aquaculture species in many European and Asian countries. This fish has several advantages that made it so popular for commercial culture:
a) very fast growth rate
b) high tolerance and easiness to handle
c) ability to be raised in high density and to give high production per square unit
d) ability to utilize prepared diet with relatively low content of protein, and
e) occurrence of highly productive strains and breeds reared during a long-term process of selection and domestication.
Most carp is sold on the market as live fish or as whole carcass.
In contrast to many other countries, common carp is not a popular edible in the United States. The main obstacle for acceptance of carp as edible fish in the U.S. is the presence of many intramuscular bones in the muscles. U.S. consumers do not like to eat fish meat with small bones and prefer boneless fish fillet.
Possibly, a change in consumers’ attitudes to carp may be achieved by application new types of carp meat processing. The following is suggested:
a) The using of fillet-machine which cuts the bones. Such machines for producing filets have been constructed recently and now are being used in several European countries.
b) Process carp meat by smoking and retort (canning) using special recipes (using tomato sauce, etc.) as is used in some European countries.
It is possible to initially develop optimal ways of carp meat processing by using fish caught from natural reservoirs and lakes in Kentucky. If market development proved successful, information on commercial rearing of carp in ponds is well developed and could be used immediately.
Forty percent of the world aquaculture production is from carp species. An export market for Kentucky raised carp may be possible.
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