This book is a detailed risk assessment and biological synopsis of the black carp, a large mollusk-eating cyprinid fish native to eastern Asia. A great deal of controversy surrounds the presence of this foreign fish in the United States. Most of those associated with the aquaculture industry view black carp as an important tool in controlling disease-carrying snails that infest aquaculture ponds. Those interested in mollusk protection and groups involved with aquatic ecosystem conservation are concerned that continued use of black carp by United States aquaculturists will lead to the species' establishment in open waters.
Major subjects addressed are (1) taxonomy, description, and distinguishing characteristics of the species; (2) native distribution; (3) biology and natural history, with emphasis on diet and reproduction; (4) history of the species in world aquaculture; (5) history of introduction within and outside the United States; (6) use as a biological control control agent, including a review of digenetic trematodes and snail-borne parasites of special concern and methods used for control; (7) alternatives to the use of black carp; (8) environmental tolerance and potential geographic range; and (9) risks associated with its introduction. The book also includes substantial information on the other Chinese carp species, including bighead carp, silver carp, and grass carp.