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Minnesota State Senator Foung Hawj petitioned for ‘Asian Carp’ to be renamed and it may now become a nationwide policy.
In 2014, Senators Foung Hawj and John Hoffman won the approval of a measure that made Minnesota agencies refer to the fish as ‘invasive carp.’ At the time, the senators faced serious backlash, but the term may be used more widely to describe what many call ‘Asian carp.’
Several species of cyprinid fish fall into the category of ‘Asian carp’ which are an invasive species that disrupt the ecological balance in the waters of the United States. However, some are concerned about how the term could be a vehicle for racial abuse.
In recent months, the US has seen a spike in Asian hate crimes and people have attributed the negative use of the term ‘Asian’ as part of the problem. This was the reasoning behind The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service changing the official term to ‘invasive carp.’
As per Fox 13, Charlie Wooley, director of its Great Lakes regional office, explained, ‘We wanted to move away from any terms that cast Asian culture and people in a negative light.’ More ecological agencies and states, including the Entomological Society of America, are now considering changing the name of the collection of fish.
However, changing the name of the types of fish may not be easy. Scientists, government agencies, restaurants and food stores will all have their own idea of what the fish should be called which could lead to widespread confusion.
Nonetheless, the US has effectively changed the name of a group of fish before. The U.S. National Marine Fisheries Service renamed ‘slimehead’ as ‘orange roughy’ successfully in the 70s.
Given the recent rise in Asian hate crime, many will hope that changes like this begin to impact the situation.
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