Bigheaded Carps: A Biological Synopsis and Environmental Risk Assessment


doi: https://doi.org/10.47886/9781888569797.fmatter

Asian carps of the genus Hypophthalmichthys were introduced into the waters of the United States in the early 1970s. They join a long series of purposeful introductions made by well-intentioned but poorly informed people. We can only regret that the wonderfully detailed information provided in this review was not available at the time these carps were first under consideration for introduction. Fortunately, there have been profound shifts in attitudes over the last few decades. Policies promoting the introduction of fishes to enhance fishing and fisheries and farm pond productivity or to control aquatic vegetation have given way to wiser policies banning or inhibiting trafficking in these same species, now seen as a threat to our native species and to the health of our ecosystems. The trial and error mentality that seems to have dominated the thinking behind all kinds of introductions is hopefully dead, at least in the United States. However, we have yet to remedy the effects of the previous ill-considered ill-considered introductions and may never be able to do so.