Whatever the name, carp not wanted

As if there were not enough issues to occupy the time and talents of our Minnesota legislators this year, there are proposals making their way along to change what the DNR calls those big, gluttonous fish that are making their way through the nation’s waters, creeping closer to Minnesota. Their real names are bighead carp and silver carp, two species that were brought over to the U.S. from Asia. Collectively they are known as Asian carp, and they are invasive species that the government is willing to spend a lot of money to keep out of the state.

They roil up water by rooting along the bottom, push out native fish by consuming all the food, and some of them have the odd habit of getting excited when a motorboat goes by, and jumping up out of the water, becoming hazardous projectiles for boaters.

Some people of Asian descent, however, feel that calling them Asian Carp gives a negative connotation to Asian people. They want the government to start calling them invasive carp.

We can understand their concern. After all, a few years ago pork producers suffered greatly when the government referred to the “swine flu” epidemic, an accurate, but emotionally loaded name that turned people off of buying pork, even though there was no chance of catching the disease by eating pork or ham or bacon. It was then called the H1N1 flu.

Well, fine. Instead of Asian carp, let’s call them invasive carp, or big, ugly flying carp. But let’s keep them out of Minnesota.

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