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Public Radio's Environmental News Magazine (follow us on Google News)

Selling Asian Carp

Air Date: Week of

Silver Carp in hand (Photo by Dan O'Keefe of Michigan Sea Grant)

Schafer Fisheries in Illinois pulls tons of Asian carp out of the Illinois river, but so far they haven’t found much luck landing the invasive fish on American plates. So we asked listeners to help sing the benefits of eating this plentiful protein. Steve McNitt of Schafer’s Fisheries tells host Bruce Gellerman which jingles were keepers and which he’d throw back.


GELLERMAN: In our recent story about the invasive Asian carp there were suggestions the fish needed a new name. Marketers came up with silverfin and we asked listeners to come up with a jingle - and a few of you took the bait. Steve McNitt, a sales manager at Schafer Fisheries, sells silverfin, and he joins us to weigh the entries. Hi Steve.


GELLERMAN: So, we had a bunch of jingles entered into our contest and it came down to the final four. So, let’s go down through these: Bonnie Green from Atlanta sent us one - it’s to the tune of “Swim Little Fish.”

GREEN: (Singing): Boop, boop, ditum, dotum, watom, chu, and they swam and they swam right over the dam. Silverfin: white plate, boiler baked, butter, lemon, sprig-of parsley winner.

GELLERMAN: What did you think?

MCNITT: Ok, well, it was… the song itself wasn’t too bad, it was fairly short. I kind of enjoyed it.

GELLERMAN: Well there was another one from Seth Tuper (phonetic) from Albany, New York. He listens on WAMC, he had one called the “Holiday Carp Song.”

TUPER: (Singing) Eat seven fish, sweet silverfin, all seem to say, try carp today. Silver fin’s here, everyone cheer, sing young and old, where it is sold …

MCNITT: Yeah, now, that’s the one I cared the least for.

TUPER: (Singing): …Try it with rice, boy it tastes nice, one seems to cheer, try fish this year, silverfin’s here…

Asian Carp jump out of the water at the mouth of the Wabash River. (Flickr CC/ LouisvilleUSACE)

GELLEMAN: So what didn’t you like about the “Holiday Carp Song”?

MCNITT: I guess the rhythm of it - duh, duh, dada, - there’s a lot of repetition there…

TUPER: (Singing): Very, very, very, very tasty…

GELERMAN: Well, it’s done to the tune of “Carol of the Bells.” You don't like that tune, huh?

TUPER: (Singing) Share fish and chips…best fish and chips…

MCNITT: Right, I must not like that song either.

GELLERMAN: Bah humbug, huh?


TUPER: (Singing) …Very, very, very, very tasty.

GELLERMAN: Then there was the one just called “Silverfin” and it’s by Michael Robinson.

MUSIC BY MICHAEL ROBINSON: …silverfin, what a fine taste, that silverfin. You’re going to like it too my friend… give me another bite of that silverfin. Give me ‘nother bite of that silverfin.

MCNITT: Right, and that was alright. That was alright. I did enjoy that.

GELLERMAN: So, then we had a tune by Scott Gatzke, and he had a tune called “Please Pass the Carp.”

GATZKE: (Singing with guitar): Carp, C-A-R-P: It’s a plentiful fish that’s good to eat. You know, I didn’t think I’d like it but I really do like it - please pass the carp. Carp, once you give it a try, carp, I think you’ll be surprised. It’s got a pork-like taste that'll make you say: Please pass the carp. Please pass the carp.

MCNITT: That’s the one I liked the best.

GELLERMAN: Oh really? Why?

MCNITT: The guy could sing and it had a nice rhythm to it. I liked it the best of the four.

GELLERMAN: (laughing) Alright, well Steve, thank you very much.

MCNITT: Alright, thank you so much. Bye bye.

GELLERMAN: Steve McNitt is with Schafer Fisheries - he’ll soon be sending Scott Gatzke in Wisconsin a couple of pounds of Asian carp or silverfin for his catchy jingle. You can drop us a line or hear the final entries on the inter-NET: loe.org.

[MUSIC: Scott Gatzke, "Please Pass the Carp."]

[MUSIC: All songs submitted by the following listeners: Scott Gatzke: Please Pass the Carp, Seth Tuper: Holiday Carp Song, Michael Robinson: Silverfin, Bonnie Green: Swim Little Fish]



Schafer Fisheries offers smoked carp by mail order

Listen to Bonnie Green “Swim Little Fish”

Listen to Seth Tuper “Holiday Carp Song”

Listen to Michael Robinson “Silverfin”

Listen to Scott Gatzke "Please Pass the Carp"


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