Remember when sushi/sahimi was nothing but stinking raw fish? Now it is available at the Yankees stadium and at gas station convenience stores in upstate New York, not exactly cutting edge of food trends.
The point is that things change, tastes change. Asian carp and European carp are indeed extremely prized. The Indian Great carps, especially Labeo rohita, is another highly prized fish that long has been studied in Florida. Hybrids of Labeo rohita and the Silver carp are sterlile, exhibit hybrid vigor, are temperature limited and can outcompete some of the Asian carps from the rivers they now infest.
These carps specialize in particular zones of the river and thus are used in carp polyculture in Asia. Some are column feeders, some bottom, yet others like the grass carp perform an invaluable service by eating noxious water weeds. So please, let us not be so carelessly dismissive based on scant information. Because the so called "good eating fishes" such as introduced trout, bass, pike etc. did a number on the native ecology of the US rivers with their extremely rich populations of suckers, chubs [many types] and the largest number of species of freshwater clams.
'Good eating' depends on your cultural perspective. Ask any Chinese or South-East Asian, and they might suggest that the carp make really excellent eating. So would emigrants from Middle and eastern Europe just a century ago, from whom many roadfood readers undoubtedly claim descent!!!! Even today, the famous gefilte fish of the Jewish High Holy days takes advantage of carp and there are purveyors of such.
Why do we modern Americans applaud ridicule, loathing, xenophobia etc. when we all are children of emigrants who had to adapt to changing and bwildering circumstances, and did so with dignity and built up a unified nation? This unfortunate modern attribute will not serve us well in the times at hand.
Just as we have genuinely learnt to enjoy Chinese, Thai, Vietnamese and so many other foods and make them our own, maybe we need to think a bit and see if carp cannot be integrated into our diets as well in innovative and utterly delightful ways that we have not yet considered.
When we do consider such, fish like carp, mullet, mackerel and many others instead of appearing to be trash, will become pleasing. Remember that just in the 20s and 30s bluefin and yellowfin tuna was deemed a nuisance by east coast fishermen.
Even now, fishermen off the Carolinas throw away as too fatty the parts most prized by the Japanese for sushi.
Here is Jeffrey Steingarten writing in "Toro, Toro, Toro, April 2000:
Not only is it customary in this part of the world [Hatteras] not to separate the o-toro aand the chu-toro from the loin, but the fattiest part of the belly , five pounds of he priceless kama, two thick triangles joined along one edge, is, --- strap yourself in for this one --- thrown into the trash! they used to toss it to the dogs that prowl the marina, but the wooden deck got stained by the fat---defaced by o-toro."
How long must we demand that the world dance to our tune and complain when it does not?