SCIENTIFIC CLASSIFICATION Kingdom: Animalia Phylum: Chordata Class: Actinopterygii Order: Cypriniformes Family: Cyprinidae Genus: Cyprinus Species: Cyprinus carpio
Common names: Common carp, Carp
Latin name: Cyprinus carpio
Thai name: Pla Nai (ไน)
Thailand status: Native
Max size: 2kg (4.4lb)
Diet: Omnivore, algae, water vegetation, insects, crustaceans, small fish, worms, zooplankton
Description: The original Common carp was native to the inland delta of the river Danube down to the Black sea. Since then it has been introduced on purpose for food and sport or by accident to every continent except Antarctica and near every country in the world. The Romans bought Cyprinus carpio to Western Europe as a food fish and later spread all the way across Europe to Britain by monks. Cross breeding has produced variants of the species with domesticated sub-species such as the Koi carp (Cyprinus carpio haematopterus), Mirror carp (Cyprinus carpio carpio) and Leather carp. Common carp can live for over 60 years and at the time of writing the largest recorded Cyprinus carpio caught by an angler is 42.5kg (94lb) from a lake in Bordeaux France.
In most of Asia and especially China where the tonnage of fish produced in aqua culture is staggering the Common carp is valued highly as a food fish. Parts of Europe as a food fish and in several European countries eaten in various customs and on special occasions. In Western Europe and Britain the Common carp is most valued as a sport fish by millions of anglers who spend hours, days, weeks and months chasing monster carp and the catch of a lifetime the surrounding carp fishing tackle and bait industry alone is worth hundreds of millions of £’s, Eu’s and $’s.
Almost everywhere else the Common carp is considered invasive and destructive of both native fish (also other wildlife effected by the links in the entire ecosystem) and native habitats with its tendency to stir up sediments, eat, destroy and uproot vegetation which can severely disrupt the natural balances of water nutrition which in turn creates algae covered water sucking out oxygen killing fish and water plants and having a knock on effect to ducks and water fowl and their predators. The constant grubbing around of the carp schools churning up the sediment can lead to permanent turbidity in waters that otherwise would be clear. This turbidity of the water and eventual blocking of light leads to dead vegetation and loss of habitat then in-turn loss of native fauna. One of the schooling carps favourite destructive behaviours is to hoover up all the eggs from other fishes nests, which can de-pleat local populations of native fish species quite rapidly. Its illegal to have live carp in many places in USA where they were originally introduced by the US Government in the 1800′s as a food fish, Canada and Australia where costs to try (so far unsuccessful) and eradicate them clock up to millions of dollars and involve plans that go as far as using hybrid Koi herpes viruses to wipe out just that species + relatives.