Lawmaker wants Asian carp renamed; term called 'offensive'

Author:
Updated:
Original:

Citing a negative connotation with the name of the invasive species, a Minnesota senator wants the term Asian carp to be changed to something else.

The Associated Press says Sen. John Hoffman, DFL-Champlin, is sponsoring a bill in the Senate to have the name changed because some people of Asian descent have complained about the name.

“Caucasians brought them to America. Should we call them ‘Caucasian carp?’ They have names," Hoffman said Thursday. "Let’s call them what they are."

According to the Associated Press, the proposal in the Legislature would require the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to call the species "invasive carp."

A fish biologist with the U.S. Geological Survey in Reston, Virginia, says the species were named for two closely related fish – the bighead carp and the silver carp – which are native to a region of Asia spanning China, part of Siberia and North Korea.

The Environmental Protection Agency says Asian carp – found in the Illinois River, which connects the Mississippi River to Lake Michigan – could pose a significant risk to the Great Lakes ecosystem because of their large size and rapid rate of reproduction.

Jean Lee, an adoption advocate who facilitates international adoptions for China and Vietnam, testified Thursday that she became upset by the term after hearing it at a roundtable meeting with DNR officials.

"They were referring to the Asian people in terms of being invasive species. This was offensive," Lee said.

The Council on Asian-Pacific Minnesotans Executive Director Sia Her also testified that the negative response to the fish “will reflect negatively on our community," the AP says.

The complaints come less than two weeks after a discovery about 20 miles south of the Minnesota border. The Star Tribune says Asian carp eggs were found in the Upper Mississippi River near Lynxville, Wisconsin.

A DNR spokesman says the agency wasn't aware of the complaints that the Asian carp name was offensive, but will follow the Legislature's lead on a decision.

The Senate bill was approved and awaits a House vote, but the House version still has to go to committee. The AP says a similar bill introduced in the Iowa Legislature in 2013 didn’t make it out of committee.

The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee has a fact sheet on the risks the species brings to the Illinois River and the Great Lakes.

Next Up

Mondale

Walter Mondale dies at age of 93

His death was confirmed by family on Monday.

National Guard

Man charged in connection to shooting that injured National Guard troops

Four soldiers were inside a military vehicle that was shot at.

Chauvin trial

Walz declares emergency in Twin Cities, bringing in police from Ohio and Nebraska

The governor has asked the Legislature for emergency funding for the additional police.

derek chauvin court - closing arguments

Closing arguments in Derek Chauvin trial: Here's what was said

The jury listened to lengthy presentations from the prosecution and defense.

helicopter-186718_1280

Man, 55, airlifted to a hospital after hit-and-run in Granite Falls

The passenger in the vehicle told police about the incident.

Minneapolis, unrest

Facebook labels Minneapolis 'high-risk,' will remove posts that incite violence

Facebook will remove posts that call for weapons to be brought to Minneapolis and anything that celebrates George Floyd's death.

MyPillow

After being sued, MyPillow is now suing Dominion

The company's lawsuit claims the voting system suppressed free speech and hurt its business relationships.

Chet Holmgren

Chet Holmgren makes his decision ... and it's Gonzaga

The Minnesota basketball phenom is following the footsteps of Jalen Suggs.

Sarah Glover

MPR News hires NBC's Sarah Glover as new managing editor

The experienced journalist was the first to serve two terms as president of the National Association of Black Journalists (NABJ).

football play

Watch: Sixth-grader with cerebral palsy makes touchdown in Detroit Lakes

Kale Hannahs' classmates made sure he got a chance to play during recess.

coronavirus, covid-19

Here is Minnesota's COVID-19 update for Monday, April 19

The latest from Minnesota health officials.

Related

Asian carp may infiltrate Minnesota from northwestern Iowa

State officials on the lookout for Asian carp have been monitoring the Mississippi River. But there are new fears that the invasive species may use another gateway to Minnesota. Anglers in northwestern Iowa have caught dozens of the carp in waters that connect through streams and lakes to southern Minnesota.

Federal leader of Asian carp fight focused on Great Lakes, skeptical of Miss. River plan

The Obama administration's point man in the fight against invasive Asian carp says his agency is focused on protecting the Great Lakes. But he doubts the plan Sen. Amy Klobuchar is pushing is a viable way to keep the fish out of the upper Mississippi River.

Policymakers see St. Anthony Falls as line in sand in fight against Asian carp

State and federal officials are pushing a bill in Congress that would close the lock and dam at St. Anthony Falls if the invasive fish is found nearby. They say if Asian carp get any farther up the Mississippi River, they would threaten Minnesota's $11 billion tourism industry.