Remember the article I recently posted called Extinction Does Impact Humans? Well, there is a real, current threat that has already overtaken the American waters and that now threatens to invade the rest of the Great Lakes: the Asian carp. And it’s a very destructive one.
This fish knows no boundaries. Although they were introduced only in certain areas because the Americans needed to control plant and lake and river wildlife in these areas, they have successfully escaped and are invading other lakes and rivers – due to a flood in the 1990s. At the present time, they have dominated the Mississippi river and are starting to take over Lake Michigan. This could lead to dominance of all five great lakes and, eventually, a very large part of the Canadian water system as well. And we never asked for this.
Although the process is slow – the first species of Asian carp was imported to the United States back in 1963 – this could lead to destruction of other species, perhaps mostly plant life as they are herbivores. However, what poses an even bigger threat than the fish – which can overtake any other species in their immediate area – is the product authorities wish to use to prevent the invasion from entering Canada and to stop the carps in the United States waters: Rotenone. This toxic substance was approved for use in the 1930s, and have been kept in storage, may be used again. However, the Asian carp isn’t the only fish that will be killed in the process: all species of fish will die along with it. Is this really necessary?
The Canadians want to spend 17.5 millions to research and prevent the fish from coming into our waters. But, other than building an actual wall to keep them out, the toxicant is the only solution. For now, the only two species that they know have entered are the silver carp – which jump so high they are a threat to boaters (see video – get ready to laugh; it’s actually quite humorous) – and the bighead carp. This is done with electrical fencing that capture DNA of the underwater species that swim in a certain body of water. Their plan: detect and poison. Ouch.
Or, since we don’t have another solution, it’s let them be, then watch when (not if as we are already almost completely certain of this) other species die…
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Image credit: Tobias Akerboom (at hutmeelz)