START A PETITION 27,000,000 members: the world's largest community for good

9 Freaky Fish You Should Be Eating

  • 1 of 9
9 Freaky Fish You Should Be Eating

Most of these fish may not fly the freak flag as we know it, but all of them are invasive species that are dominating an environment in which they are not native–and adversely affecting the habitat they now call home. This year Food & Water Watch, the non-profit that helps people navigate making safe and sustainable food and water choices, has included invasive species in their Smart Seafood Guide–with the idea that adding invasive species as a menu item may help to control their populations at less destructive levels. And with so many other aquatic species being overfished to the point of extinction, it may be an idea whose time has come. What do you think? Asian swamp eel for dinner?

Following are 9 invasive species as Food & Water Watch has described in the new guide.

1. Asian carp (Midwest and Great Lakes regions)
Asian carp, as they are known in the United States, actually includes several different species, including the bighead, black and silver carp. Asian carp species are not bottom feeders, and so are generally lower in contaminants than the common carp. Although the FDA has not yet evaluated these fish for contaminants, they are believed to be low in mercury. These fish are native to Asia and were brought to the United States primarily by catfish farmers in the 1970s to control algal blooms in aquaculture ponds. Today, Asian carp have spread through major waterways from the Southeast through sporadic flooding events, and have moved toward the Great Lakes regions. Asian carp are a problem because they are prolific spawners, grow and mature quickly, and feed on both plant and animal plankton. Silver carp, for example, may consume two to three times their own body weight in algae and phytoplankton each day — throwing off ecosystem balance. Asian carp may compete with other native fish populations in the lakes and ponds of the Midwest. Asian carp can be caught with cast nets, hand nets or occasionally on hook and line.

Flckr Kate Gardiner

  • 1 of 9

Read more: Basics, Diet & Nutrition, Environment, Food, Wildlife

have you shared this story yet?

go ahead, give it a little love

Melissa Breyer

Melissa Breyer is a writer and editor with a background in sustainable living, specializing in food, science and design. She is the co-author of True Food (National Geographic) and has edited and written for regional and international books and periodicals, including The New York Times Magazine. Melissa lives in Brooklyn, NY.


+ add your own
3:13PM PST on Jan 21, 2014

why do we have to eat fish? animals' love ends where fish begins ? they also suffer, like other animals !

8:07AM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

I don't's kind've difficult to imagine eating them after seeing their cute little faces! As for the walking catfish! How cool! Evolution anyone??

4:02AM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

The 4 crustaceans listed are not fish; they are invertebrates.

12:40AM PDT on Jun 14, 2013

I do eat as far up the evolutionary chain as seafood -- wild- and sustainably-caught only -- and I'd definitely eat these if they were available. Bring it on!

We should submit this list of invasive species and the threat they pose to the FDA, as it's considering approving the manufactured, and almost-inevitably invasive new species of Frankenfish salmon. Oh, sure -- they'll stay in the fish farms and never escape into the wild [sarcasm]!

8:12PM PDT on Jun 13, 2013


3:52PM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

Thanks , will try to emember!!!!

1:50PM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

I love seafood and a good part of that is on the "don't eat list", so I'll give the Freaky guys a go and see what happens. Thanks for the info...

9:11AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

What? no snakehead.?

8:33AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

Wow, a wealth of info here. Thanks!

8:31AM PDT on Jun 13, 2013

I am a seafood lover. This is information that I will take in and comprehend. Thank you.

add your comment

Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
Care2, Inc., its employees or advertisers.

people are talking

I think planting your own stuff and saving as much seed as you can is absolutely important. And shar…

Thanks for sharing!

Make mine chocolate!


Select names from your address book   |   Help

We hate spam. We do not sell or share the email addresses you provide.