The common carp or European carp (Cyprinus carpio) is a widespread freshwater fish of eutrophic waters in lakes and large rivers in Europe and Asia. The native wild populations are considered vulnerable to extinction by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), but the species has also been domesticated and introduced (see aquaculture) into environments worldwide, and is often considered a destructive invasive species, being included in the list of the world's 100 worst invasive species. It gives its name to the carp family, Cyprinidae.
The common carp is native to Europe and Asia, and has been introduced to every part of the world except the poles. They are the third most frequently introduced (fish) species worldwide, and their history as a farmed fish dates back to Roman times. Carp are used as food in many areas, but are also regarded as a pest in several regions due to their ability to out-compete native fish stocks. The original common carp was found in the inland delta of the Danube River about 2000 years ago, and was torpedo-shaped and golden-yellow in colour. It had two pairs of barbels and a mesh-like scale pattern. Although this fish was initially kept as an exploited captive, it was later maintained in large, specially built ponds by the Romans in south-central Europe (verified by the discovery of common carp remains in excavated settlements in the Danube delta area). As aquaculture became a profitable branch of agriculture, efforts were made to farm the animals, and the culture systems soon included spawning and growing ponds. The common carp's native range also extends to the Black Sea, Caspian Sea and Aral Sea.
Both European and Asian subspecies have been domesticated. In Europe, domestication of carp as food fish was spread by monks between the 13th and 16th centuries. The wild forms of carp had already reached the delta of the Rhine in the 12th century, probably with some human help. Variants that have arisen with domestication include the mirror carp, with large, mirror-like scales (linear mirror – scaleless except for a row of large scales that run along the lateral line; originating in Germany), the leather carp (virtually unscaled except near dorsal fin), and the fully scaled carp. Koi carp (錦鯉 (nishikigoi) in Japanese, 鯉魚 (pinyin: lĭ yú) in Chinese) is a domesticated ornamental variety that originated in the Niigata region of Japan in the 1820s, but its parent species are likely the East Asian carp, possibly C. rubrofuscus.Not a particularly commonly sought sportsfish, their vegetarian habits make them less susceptible for most bait or lure fishing. However, some dedicated fishermen swear they offer the best fight of all freshwater fish, and use corn, peas or even mulberries for bait. They are commonly sought by bow fishermen and women.
Wombat-socho has Rule 5 Monday: Stacey Dash up and waiting.