Minter: Chinese Fish for Meaning in U.S. Carp Rampage (3)

"We can eat your carp if you have too much: braised carp in brown sauce, roast carp with scallions … Sweet and sour carp is great and it’s a famous dish in Shandong cuisine, though I haven’t eaten sweet and sour carp in a long time."

Sometimes, Chinese netizens pay more attention to a U.S. news story than Americans do. President Barack Obama’s Feb. 23 decision to allocate $51.5 million to eradicate an invasive species known as the Asian carp is a prime example.

Outside of the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins, news of this carp-control strategy barely registered with the U.S. public. But on March 6, it hit China and, like a jazz trio riffing for an hour on just a few notes, microbloggers took to the minor news topic with gusto, using it to explore issues ranging from corrupt civil servants to U.S. sovereign debt. Soon it even had its own hash tag, roughly translated as #Asian Carp on an American Rampage#.

Within a week, netizens posted more than 85,000 tweets, comments on tweets and re-tweets on the carp rampage. By Chinese microblogging standards, that’s actually quite modest. More popular topics can easily generate millions of posts. But such a large amount of commentary regarding an essentially American story is significant.

American catfish farmers first imported four species of Asian carp in the 1970s. Known to be voracious eaters, they were set loose in catfish pens with the hope that they’d eat the algae — which they did. But in the 1980s, floods washed over these contained pens, allowing the carp to enter the Mississippi River where — for three decades — they’ve been eating their way upAmerican watersheds, disrupting every ecosystem in their path.


See Also:

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Reynolds: The Perfect Way to Get Rid of Invasive Species—Eat Them


Correct me if I’m wrong but this, to me, seems to be one answer to US unemployment.  Catch and flash freeze these critters.  Then ship to China.  From what I’m reading they’ll buy everything that can be sent their way and look for more.

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  • fernstalbert

    Oh Jack, I love this story and will be a little cheeky with my observations. If someone will “EAT CARP” and PETA does not care, then it should be worth a business venture. The opportunity for an “obscence” business profit is worthy of the Ferengi. I refer you to the Ferengi Rules of Aquisition/The Business of Life. Rules 22, 45 and 202 would apply in this case. There is an undocumented rule that is probably not a rule but a motto – only a fool passes up a business opportunity. lol Cheers.

  • mike

    That’s why they are named “carp”, because “crap” doesn’t sound so good.

    mid island mike

  • Jack

    For US “unemployed”. Don’t miss this. I’m thinking local Co-ops and “billions” to be made. An opportunity that comes once in a lifetime and the technology exists now.

    Obama — “brain dead” on steroids. Only a “city slicker” could fail to see a solution to US unemployment that is completely self replicating and will go on “forever”. If you read through the comments you will note that one US company has already jumped on the bandwagon. Don’t get left out.

    As a point I note that in “lil ol’ Tinselburg” we have a “lake” — actually it’s nothing more than a pond and in that “lake” we have carp (not Asian) that run around 18 pounds on average. They are everywhere. People catch them with “doughballs” — fight them and then let them go. They are considered “garbage fish” and we catch them for fun.

    “Some garbage.”