Silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix) skin and muscle were hydrolysed, respectively, and then used as part of an edible coating to preserve fish. The effects of muscle and skin hydrolysates as edible coatings for shelf life extension of common carp (Cyprinus carpio) were evaluated over 18 days at 4 °C, by comparing these two treatments, a chitosan coating with muscle hydrolysate, chitosan alone, and an untreated control. All coatings were made up with 5% glycerol. The quality of the carp was assessed by using total volatile basic nitrogen (TVB-N), total viable counts (TVC), thiobarbituric acid (TBA) and K value. Compared with the control group, the rate of increase in TVB-N, TVC, TBA and K value of carp coated with fish skin hydrolysates, fish muscle hydrolysates and chitosan added to fish muscle hydrolysates were lower. According to the total viable counts, the storage life of fish with fish skin hydrolysates coatings and chitosan added fish muscle hydrolysates coatings were 16 days, 2 days longer than those with the chitosan coatings and twice as long as the control group.