Invasive Species Compendium

Detailed coverage of invasive species threatening livelihoods and the environment worldwide

Abstract

Using marketing to fish-down bigheaded carp (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) in the United States: eliminating the negative brand name, "carp".

Abstract

Invasive bigheaded carp species (Hypophthalmichthys spp.) from Asia have experienced rapid range expansion and population explosions in rivers of the United States resulting in ecosystem damage currently being witnessed and documented by fishery biologists. In addition, silver carp (H. molitrix) present a danger of injury and death to unsuspecting boaters, water skiers or recreational fishers due to their propensity to jump in response to boat motor noise. Fishing-down bigheaded carp populations for human consumption will reduce environmental damage and potential human injury and mortality until other control measures become available. The name "carp" conveys an extremely negative brand name for purposes of product marketing. We suggest that the silver carp be renamed by the professional scientific community to silverfin (a trademarked name currently used in culinary circles) and the bighead carp (H. nobilis) to bighead. The suggested common names changes represent a simple, albeit small step to reducing bigheaded carp population numbers based on sound product naming strategies developed and used in marketing science.