The Silver Carp (Silwerkarp) Hypophthalmichthys molitrix (Asian Carp)

The Silver Carp is well known in the USA for being an absolute menace, as they are quick breeding fish and very destructive to natural occurring fish species. In South Africa we also get Silver Carp, which are sometimes referred to as the Asian Carp. They can grow up to a metre in length, and considering that they feed on phytoplankton, can cause a lot of damage to our natural ecosystems and fisheries.

The Silver Carp was introduced into South Africa around about 1975. These fish were introduced from Israel. They occur mainly in the Olifants River and Limpopo River systems; where they tend to hang out in slow flowing water or pools below rapids. They might become an important aquaculture species in South Africa, although they are not yet farmed.

They are well known for jumping clear out of the water when disturbed, and often can jump into boats. The Silver Carp breeds in the upper reaches of rivers, and after this happens their eggs and larvae drift down river, which is why they can populate areas so quickly.