Minnesota On A Quest For A More Culturally Appropriate Name For Fish
What's in a name?
Quite a lot, I guess.
Due to issues of anti-Asian hate and racism, the State of Minnesota is pushing to change the name of Asian carp-- a term used to describe four fish species that have infested many U.S. rivers and lakes-- to "invasive carp."
Four Species of "Invasive Carp"
According to AP News, the realization came when an Asian business delegation arrived at the Minneapolis airport and encountered a "Kill Asian Carp" sign. Though the message was a plea to prevent the spread of invasive carp, it still struck an emotional cord.
Charlie Wooley, director of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service in the Great Lakes regional office, explains:
“We wanted to move away from any terms that cast Asian culture and people in a negative light.”
This is not the first animal to undergo a name change request in recent months.
Though invasive carp is the current name for the fish, it may not stay that way. The state of Illinois and a few other teams are working to market a name that will persuade people to eat the fish.
Americans associate carp with a 'muddy' flavor and bony flesh. However, the fish is quite popular throughout the rest of the world. Perhaps if marketing teams can create a more appealing name, Americans may grow accustomed to the unique taste.
The U.S. brought carp from China a half-century ago to cleanse fish farms and sewage ponds. After a time, the fish escaped into the wild and into the Mississippi River and many other major rivers.