why we love silver Skipper
In a world of declining wild fish stocks, destructive fishing practices, harmful fish farming, and increasingly polluted fish, Silver Skipper offers a wild, nutritious fish option for which consumption actually restores native ecosystems.
Unknown to most Americans, Silver Skipper, or silver carp, is a member of the Asian carp family. It is the largest aquaculture fish in the world. Global consumption of farmed Asian carp is greater than global consumption of Pacific and Atlantic salmon – both wild and farmed. Introduced in the U.S. in the 1970s, Asian carp is now considered invasive in 17 states. Due to its abundance and invasive label in the U.S., and the fact that is shares the “carp” name with the wholly unrelated bottom-feeding common European carp, Americans consider Asian carp to be a trash fish. Silver Skipper is one of our most environmentally responsible, healthy, and delicious American protein choices.
Clean, light taste
Silver Skipper have a light texture and a clean, non-fishy taste resembling cod. In a taste panel conducted by the University of Illinois, more than 60% of participants preferred the mild taste of canned carp to canned tuna.
Positive Environmental Impact
Silver Skipper presents the unprecedented opportunity to have a net positive environmental “foodprint” by restoring native ecosystems through consumption.
Silver Skipper are protein rich and higher in Omega 3's per gram than other freshwater fish, comparable to wild salmon. Filter feeders that eat low in the food chain, Silver Skipper are lower in environmental toxins than tuna and many salmon.
Broad Product Range
With an adaptable flavor profile, Silver Skipper lends itself to a broad spectrum of preparations and products.
A member of the Asian Carp family native to China, Silver Skipper, or silver carp, were introduced in the U.S. in the 1970s to control algae growth and improve water quality on catfish farms. Shortly after their arrival, Silver Skipper escaped from fish farms during a flood event and established populations in the nearby Mississippi River. Since then, Silver Skipper have used the Mississippi River and its tributaries as a highway system to spread into 17 states across the Southern and Midwestern United States.
The combination of Silver Skipper’s insatiable appetite – they are filter feeders that can eat 20% of their body weight per day – and adaptability has enabled Silver Skipper to outcompete native fish species and monopolize entire ecosystems. In some sections of the Illinois River, Silver Skipper and bighead carp (another Asian Carp species) account for more than 90% of the river’s biomass.
Where to find silver skipper
Silver Skipper are considered invasive in 17 states along the Mississippi River, its tributaries, and nearby lakes. Despite significant investments in dams, electric fencing, and other control mechanisms, Silver Skipper have traveled the length of the Mississippi River and throughout the American South and Midwest. Major efforts are now underway to prevent their introduction in the Great Lakes.