Gov. Bruce Rauner announced that companies and individuals interested in expanding demand for food and other products using Asian carp caught in Illinois waters are invited to apply for grant funding to assist their marketing efforts.
Grants are now available through the Illinois Department of Natural Resources’ (IDNR) Asian Carp Market Value Program (MVP) to support current Asian carp processors and product-makers in expanding existing markets and developing new markets and sales opportunities for Asian carp products.
"One of the best ways to protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp is to reduce the population of the invasive species, and our governments spend millions of dollars each year to remove these fish from our rivers," Rauner said. "This grant program will give our fishing industry incentives to harvest even more Asian Carp by expanding and creating new markets for the fish. The end result will be savings for taxpayers and a reduced threat to the Great Lakes."
“We want to help businesses increase their sales of Asian carp products as part of the State of Illinois’ effort to reduce the numbers of Asian carp and aid in managing this pesky but tasty fish,” said Kevin Irons, manager of the IDNR Aquatic Nuisance Species Program. “Taking more Asian carp out of Illinois waters helps prevent their spread, as well as reduce impacts where they are present.”
Federal funds dedicated to preventing the spread of Asian carp are being used for this new business development initiative. Funding is limited for this initial effort, and a steering committee has been established to aid in reviewing applications and awarding grants.