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Will alligator gar combat the Asian carp in the US waters?

It's disastrous Asian carp invasion in the American Great Lakes, but a ridiculous topic for Chinese people, who like eating fish and are good at cooking various dishes with Asian carp. 

In Chinese culture, the carp is auspicious, as shown in the Chinese Chengyu "Carp Leaping Over Dragon's Gate" (鲤鱼跳龙门). It implies a success in the civil service examination in ancient China. 鱼 (yú, fish) also shares the same pronunciation with the word 余 (surplus). The Chengyu 年年有余 means "having a surplus year after year". It's just the opposite for the Americans. The Asian carp outgrown the native fishes, break the ecological balance and their flesh is unpalatable. 

It again proves the saying – One man's meat is another man's poison – to be true. 

The Americans have been thinking of an effective way to crack down on the species that they introduced in the 1970s. The Asian carp refer to the black carp, grass carp, chub and common carp. In the past few years, the American government spent USD 5,000 in building dams and spreading electrified wire netting to control the population of the Asian carp. The local people were even encouraged to shoot the fish, which has developed into a water sport in some places. 

Two years ago, some suggest the government to seek co-op with the companies from China and other Asian countries, to encourage them to import Asian carp from the USA. Though some companies did market research, building factories is time-consuming and the plan has been postponed. Without foodies and natural enemies, the Asian carp reproduce very fast. They can spawn up to three times per year. They have become a great threat to the local ecosystem. 

This time, they have introduced in a "potentially potent weapon" – alligator gar – in the waters in Indiana, Illinois and Ohio waters to control the population. 

The alligator gar is a prehistoric fish that has menacing rows of sharp teeth and can grow longer than a horse, and is covered with armor-like scales. They swam with the dinosaurs and their evolution has seen little change. It's the second-largest freshwater fish in the U.S., second to the West Coast's white sturgeon. They are back in Illinois after 50 years of being classified as regionally extinct. 

Some biologists say that the predator poses no threat to humans, little to sport fish, dining almost exclusively on gizzard shad, and hasn't earned its dangerous reputation, but some people are worried that the alligator gar may bring more troubles to the ecosystem and result in another ecological unbalance. 

The article is translated and editted by Chinlingo. Please indicate the source for any use, reproduction or transfer. 



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