Ecojustice Blog – Nature Posted on May 4, 2012 (updated: May 4, 2012)

Ecojustice is working to protect the Great Lakes from Asian Carp

The Great Lakes need your help. An invasive species of fish, the Asian Carp, is threatening to do huge damage to one of this country’s great treasures.

Many scientists believe that the impacts of Asian Carp if they enter the Great Lakes will be devastating. Asian Carp populations have been gradually migrating north up the Mississippi River over the past 35 years. These very large, rapidly reproducing fish were brought from Asian countries to U.S. fish farms to control algae in the 1970s. Flooding over the years has allowed them to escape and over time they have migrated to the doorstep of the Great Lakes. They destroy habitat for other fish and aquatic life by eating huge volumes of food and reproducing and taking over ecosystems. For example, eight out of every 10 fish in some parts of the Illinois River are Asian carp, eating their weight in plankton and fish, stealing food and jeopardizing the survival of other species.

Asian Carp are now found only miles from Chicago, where manmade locks may now allow the fish to pass from the Mississippi to the Great Lakes basin.

In response to this serious threat, Ecojustice is implementing strategic legal challenges and engaging in constructive discussion to ensure that Canadian inputs are considered in decision-making over how to stop the Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes.

Nearly one-third of Canadians and one-tenth of Americans live around the Great Lakes, and millions are dependent on the lakes for their livelihoods. We need to work together to protect this vital natural resource and stop the migration of Asian Carp.

By Hugh Wilkins

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