Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

“Asian carp” is societally and scientifically problematic. Let's replace it

July 6, 2018

Bighead Carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis, Black Carp Mylopharyngodon piceus, Grass Carp Ctenopharyngodon idella, and Silver Carp H. molitrix are considered invasive species in North America and Europe. In North America, they are typically referred to collectively as “Asian carp”, a reference to their native range. The category “Asian carp” fails to acknowledge the cultural value and the ecological differences of these fishes, causes confusion when translated into Chinese, and frequently causes problems of communication with the public and occasionally among professionals when some species are intentionally or inadvertently in‐ or excluded when referred to collectively. Herein we review the long history of aquaculture of these species in China, their human cultural significance, the origin of the category “Asian carp”, and the problems the term “Asian carp” might cause when used in cross‐cultural communication. We recommend discontinuing use of the term Asian carp and replacing it with individual species names. When a group term is required, there are several more favorable alternatives, including existing Chinese terms that have been used for centuries.

Publication Year 2018
Title “Asian carp” is societally and scientifically problematic. Let's replace it
DOI 10.1002/fsh.10087
Authors Patrick Kočovský, Duane Chapman, Song S. Qian
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Fisheries
Index ID 70198008
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Great Lakes Science Center