Chicago fish are a threat in Japan

In 1960, the mayor of Chicago, Richard J Daley, presented Emperor Akihito (then Crown Prince) with a fish. It was hoped that the Japanese would learn to love bluegill for dinner as much as Chicagoans do.

But, as the Guardian Unlimited reports, the bluegill fish is possibly the most reviled creature in Japan. The fish brought back by the emperor were donated to research centers, but many escaped to wipe out the royal bitterling and bring other native species to the brink of extinction. They have infested waterways across Japan, including the moat of the imperial palace in Tokyo.

Though considered a delicacy in Illinois and other parts of the US, the bluegill has struggled to find favor among Japanese diners. A multimillion-yen campaign to turn them into fertilizer and chicken feed has had limited success.

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