Carp was reared in aquaculture up to 8000 years ago in China

Carp farming in aquaculture is at least 8000 years old according to a new study published in Nature Ecology and Evolution. An international team has in fact analyzed some fish bones found in a Neolithic site near the province of Henan, China.

The researchers concluded that these are remains of carp bred in aquaculture. The oldest traces of aquaculture have been found in descriptions of ancient Chinese documents, including a poem in the Shijing collection, the oldest collection of ancient Chinese poems ever survived to this day, which cites carp bred in a pond around 1140 BC.

Now researchers move far back the period related to the first found traces of aquaculture in China. The researchers analyzed 588 carp teeth extracted from various fish remains.

Some of these teeth date back, according to the researchers, to the period between 6200 and 5700 BC. Even then, according to the researchers, the first attempts at aquaculture saw carp caught regularly and then kept alive in confined waters and regulated by man. In these waters, the carp reproduced naturally. Probably during the autumn, the water was then drained by these “ponds” and the fishes were recovered.