What invasive species are you?


Is your fish demeaning to others? Worry not, there is always a bureaucracy ready to step in and right the wrong:

The Asian carp is getting a new name from wildlife agencies who think the title is offensive — but some critics say the move is a solution fishing for a problem.

The US Fish and Wildlife Service rebranded the freshwater fish wreaking havoc in the Midwest as “invasive carp” in April.

“We wanted to move away from any terms that cast Asian culture and people in a negative light,” Charlie Wooley, director of the Great Lakes Regional Office for the service, told The Associated Press.

Lest you are panicking that pretty soon you won’t be able to distinguish the African from the Asian elephant, let me reiterate it’s not all geographical descriptors, just those which might create – or reinforce – negative perceptions.

In the current case, there are clearly two logical solutions:

Either the Asian carp should be renamed something non-area specific, such as COVID carp.

Or, as an “invasive carp” it is revealing its supremacist, colonialist and genocidal nature, in which case it should be renamed “white carp”. It’s even silvery in colour, which while not white per se, makes it very different from the genuine fish of colour, like Nemo. In any case, we won’t be genuinely free unless the structural whiteness among the fish is finally abolished.

Carp being native in Poland, it did not have any bad associations – quite the opposite, it was a traditional dish for the Christmas Eve dinner – but if we wanted to run it down, we would have called it “Soviet carp”. Both the goldfish and koi, by the way, are carp breed for size and colour for decorative purposes.

Moving away from carp, more work remains to eliminate racism inherent in our nature nomenclature. Start with the lowest forms, like “yellow fever” or “Black Death” and move up the chain on life, including Giant Asian (“Murder”) Hornet, black mamba, and African wild dog.

Photo by Danil Aksenov on Unsplash