Asian Carp Report Must Lead to Action, Groups Say
ANN ARBOR, MICH. (July 13, 2012)—Yesterday the Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canadian released a study affirming that all five Great Lakes are hospitable to Asian carp and that once established the non-native fish will likely disrupt the native fishery, alter the ecosystem and create another food web. The study found that it would take as few as 10 female and 10 or fewer male Asian carp of reproductive age to reproduce in the Great Lakes.
Link to study summary:
Link to study:
Responding to the study, Canadian and U.S. conservation groups said:
"Canadian and U.S. authorities must work together to ramp up efforts to protect the Great Lakes from these invasive species," said Hugh Wilkins, staff lawyer from Ecojustice Canada. "There is a pressing need for public hearings in Canada to ensure that Canadian views are considered in decision-making on reducing the Asian carp threat."
"This new Asian Carp Risk Assessment requires leadership from all government agencies in Canada and the United States at all levels to accelerate actions to separate the waterways at Chicago. The time for talk and further research is over," said Mary Muter, Chair of the Great Lakes Section, Sierra Club Ontario. "The Great Lakes are bi-national waters, and the speed at which these huge fish will invade Canadian lakes and rivers all the way up to James Bay is frightening. These invasive fish feeding at the bottom of the food chain will rip apart Georgian Bay’s highest quality, most diverse and extensive wetlands found anywhere in the Great Lakes. The time to act is now, if we don’t, our children and generations to come will never forgive us."
“The report underscores the severity of the threat Asian carp threat and the need for leadership so that we can solve the problem once and for all,” said Andy Buchsbaum, director of the National Wildlife Federation’s Great Lakes Regional Center. “The Asian carp are moving toward the Great Lakes far faster than the government response, and this report shows that the cost of inaction will be devastating. President Obama and Gov. Romney need to declare that they will take the necessary action to build an effective physical barrier to keep the Asian carp out of the Great Lakes.”
"Our worst fears are confirmed: Asian carp will proliferate in the Great Lakes if we don't stop them from establishing in Lake Michigan," said Joel Brammeier, president of the Alliance for the Great Lakes. “These disturbing findings are yet another reason for the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to follow the Congressional directive to identify a permanent solution by the end of 2013.”
“This risk assessment confirms that the stakes are too high for failure, if Asian carp invade, Canadian and U.S. waters will be changed forever,” said Jennifer Nalbone, director of Navigation and Invasive Species for Great Lakes United. “Both countries must support and implement the best protection from an invasion- and break the artificial connection between the Mississippi and Great Lakes basins in the Chicago area. If water doesn’t flow between the two watersheds, this damaging fish can’t swim in.”
"This isn't just an American problem,” said Thom Cmar, attorney for the Midwest Program of the Natural Resources Defense Council. “This Canadian study underscores the point that we cannot continue to slow walk a carp solution if there is any hope of preserving the Great Lakes as North Americans know, love, and depend on them today."
"This assessment strengthens cries from tens of thousands of people who have contacted decision makers asking for a permanent solution to stop the Asian carp,” said Cheryl Kallio, associate director for Freshwater Future. "These experts agreed that all of our Great Lakes are at serious risk. We don't want to look back in 20 years with an infestation that has done incredible damage and regret that we didn't do more when we could have. The time to stop the carp is now and we need decision makers to act."
"The study is frighteningly clear. There is no time to waste; we need to move beyond studies and do everything in our power to stop the carp now, before it’s too late," said Robert Hirschfeld, coalition organizer for Prairie Rivers Network. "In this case, an ounce of prevention is worth billions of dollars."
"This study is a clear warning that our beautiful Lake Michigan is at serious risk from Asian Carp," saidJack Darin, director of the Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter. "If these dangerous invaders get into our Lake, they are likely to explode in population and wreak havoc on the Great Lakes ecosystem. Fortunately, there are solutions that will keep the carp out and give us healthier waters here in the Chicago region, but time is short and we need to work urgently to plan and implement these solutions before it's too late."
"This report proves that these prolific and devastating invasive fish will survive and thrive in Lake Erie, crowding out native fish and wildlife and devouring Lake Erie's $10.1 billion a year tourism and fishing industry," said Kristy Meyer, director of Agricultural & Clean Water Programs at the Ohio Environmental Council. "Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes are too important to the region's economy to not permanently separate this watery pathway."
“The Great Lakes are an immensely valuable resource to not only the region but well beyond,” said Darrell Gerber, program coordinator at Clean Water Action – Minnesota. “It is imperative that we quickly move beyond studies and take the necessary steps to ensure Asian carp are not able to enter the Great Lakes. The Risk Assessment makes it clear that all of the Great Lakes, including Lake Superior, are vulnerable until all doors are closed.”
Joel Brammeier, Alliance for the Great Lakes, (312) 939-0838 x224 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jack Darin, Sierra Club, Illinois Chapter, (312) 251-1680x112; email: email@example.com
Darrel Gerber, Clean Water Action Midwest Office, (612) 627-1530; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Robert Hirschfeld, Prairie Rivers Network, (217) 344-2371; email: email@example.com
Cheryl Kallio, Freshwater Future, (231) 571-5001; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jordan Lubetkin, National Wildlife Federation, (734) 887-7109 email: email@example.com
Kristy Meyer, Ohio Environmental Council, (614) 487-5842 email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Josh Mogerman, Natural Resources Defense Council, (312)651-7909; email@example.com
Mary Muter, Sierra Club Ontario, (705) 375 2045; email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Jennifer Nalbone, Great Lakes United, (716) 213-0408; email: email@example.com
Hugh Wilkins, Ecojustice Canada, (416) 368 7533 x 534; email: firstname.lastname@example.org