‘Asian Carp’ Could See Name Change Following Complaints

Minnesota may change the controversial name of an invasive species of fish, commonly referred to in the United States as Asian carp, to prevent identifying Asian Americans with a racial stereotype.

The fish have become a threat to native fish in the Great Lakes and elsewhere since they were introduced in the U.S. about 30 years ago. Two closely related fish, the bighead carp and silver carp, are called Asian carp as their native region is East Asia, including parts of Siberia and North Korea, said Cindy Kolar, a fish biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Va., according to theAssociated Press.


A proposal making its way through the state legislature would require the Department of Natural Resources to change the name of the fish to “invasive carp,” referencing the threat they pose. Some Asian Americans have complained about the name, said Sen. John Hoffman, the Democrat sponsoring the bill.

“Caucasians brought them to America,” Hoffman said. “Should we call them “Caucasian carp?’ Let’s call them what they are.”

An Asian American community leader testified before a Senate committee, saying she was upset by the term when she heard it being used by government officials.

“They were referring to the Asian people in terms of being invasive species. This was offensive,” said Lee, executive director of the Children’s Hope International Minnesota chapter.

The bill was approved by the Senate committee and will head to the Senate floor for a vote.