FoodReference.com Logo

FoodReference.com   (Since 1999)
 

Food Articles, News & Features Section

Home       Food Articles       Food Trivia       Today in Food History       Recipes       Cooking Tips       Videos       Food Quotes       Who's Who       Food Trivia Quizzes       Crosswords       Food Poems       Cookbooks       Food Posters       Recipe Contests       Culinary Schools       Gourmet Tours       Food Festivals & Shows

  You are here > 

HomeFood ArticlesFish & Seafood >  Asian Carp Become A Major Problem

 

CULINARY SCHOOLS &
COOKING CLASSES

From Amateur & Basic Cooking Classes to Professional Chef Training
Over 1,000 schools & classes listed for U.S., Online & Worldwide

Culinary Posters and Food Art

See also: Bighead Carp

ASIAN CARP PROBLEMS

 

Dear EarthTalk:
What exactly are Asian carp and why are they such a big problem lately?
Lori Roudebush, Portland, OR

Seven species of carp native to Asia have been introduced into United States waters in recent decades, but it’s four in particular—bighead, black, grass and silver—that worry ecologists, biologists, fishers and policymakers alike. Introduced in the southeast to help control weeds and parasites in aquaculture operations, these fish soon spread up the Mississippi River system where they have been crowding out native fish populations not used to competing with such aggressive invaders. The carps’ presence in such numbers is also compromising water quality and killing off sensitive species such as freshwater mussels.

Asian carp are hardy, lay hundreds of thousands of eggs at a time and spread into new habitat quickly and easily. To wit, they can jump over barriers such as low dams. Also, flooding has helped the fish expand into previously unattainable water bodies. And fishers using young carp as live bait have also facilitated the fish’s spread, as have boats going through locks up and down the Mississippi.

Silver Carp
Asian Carp have spread up the Mississippi River system crowding out native fish, compromising water quality and killing off sensitive species. Pictured: A pair of silver carp in Shedd Aquarium's Invasive species exhibit.
Credit: Josh Mogerman, courtesy Flickr

The federal government’s Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force considers the Asian carps to be nuisance species and encourages and supports “active control” by natural resources management agencies. Federal and state governments have spent millions in tax dollars accordingly to prevent the carp from making their way into the Great Lakes, but an elaborate underwater electric fence constructed to keep them out has not worked as well as hoped, and policymakers are reviewing other options now.

Friends and neighbors of the Great Lakes are particularly concerned about the impact Asian carp could have on the region’s $7 billion/year fishing industry. In 2009 the states of Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin filed suit in federal court against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and Chicago’s Metropolitan Water Reclamation District seeking measures to prevent Asian carp from moving through the Chicago Area Waterway System into Lake Michigan. While a federal district court dismissed the lawsuit last December, it could resurface in a future appeal.

Regardless of whether the states can keep the Mississippi and Great Lakes systems segregated, Asian carp are expected to keep spreading throughout other parts of the U.S. through river systems that connect up with the Mississippi directly or otherwise. Federal researchers estimate that even if Asian carp are kept out of the Great Lakes, they could affect freshwater fisheries in as many as 31 states representing some 40 percent of the continental U.S.

In the meantime, state and federal agencies are monitoring the Mississippi and its tributaries for Asian carp and testing various barrier technologies to prevent their further spread. For instance, the National Park Service is collaborating with the state of Minnesota’s Department of Natural Resources to construct new dams that are high enough to prevent Asian carp from jumping over. The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee has funded DNA monitoring in potentially affected water bodies whereby researchers can determine whether the troublesome fish are present just by the biological footprints they leave behind. Individuals can do their part by not transporting fish, bait or even water from one water body to another, and by draining and rinsing boats before moving them between different water bodies.

CONTACTS: Aquatic Nuisance Species Task Force, www.anstaskforce.gov ; National Park Service, www.nps.gov ; Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, www.asiancarp.us

April 2013
EarthTalk® is written and edited by Roddy Scheer and Doug Moss and is a registered trademark of E - The Environmental Magazine (www.emagazine.com). Send questions to: earthtalk@emagazine.com   Subscribe: www.emagazine.com/subscribe  Free Trial Issue: www.emagazine.com/trial

 

TOP 

RELATED ARTICLES

   Fish & Seafood        Asian Carp Become A Major Problem        World Fisheries In Crises        Swai Fish (Pangasius)        Alaskan Wild Black Cod        Amberjack        Aquaculture Production & the Environment        Bighead Carp        Bluefish        Catch Shares Fisheries Management        Catfish, Farm Raised        Caviar From Russia with Love        Caviar: Description & Facts        Cod: British Gold        Cyanide Fishing        Fish Facts & Health Benefits        Fish Farms: Raising Fish on Inland 'Farms'        Fish, Becoming More Expensive by the Day        Fish, Something Fishy Going On Here        Flounder        Grouper        Jellyfish        King Mackerel        King Salmon        Komoci Konbu, Herring Eggs on Kelp        Mackerel, Wild        Mahi-Mahi        Mullet        Pompano        Ocean Fisheries & Overfishing        Salmon, Wild or Farmed        Salmon of Wisdom        Salmon Facts & Types        Salmon, Wild Salmon & Dams        Sockeye Salmon Record Run        Shark        Shark Finning        Smoked Fish        Snapper        Spanish Mackerel        Striped Bass        Sushi Fact Sheet        Swordfish        Tilapia Description & Facts        Tilapia: Grilling Perfect Tilapia        Tilefish        Trout: Fit for a King        Trout In Trouble        Atlantic Bluefin Tuna in Trouble        Tuna on the Grill        Yellowfin Tuna        Whales Still Hunted in 2012  
   Home       About Us & Contact Us       Food Articles       Magazines       Food Links  

Please feel free to link to any pages of FoodReference.com from your website.

For permission to use any of this content please E-mail: james@foodreference.com

All contents are copyright © 1990 - 2014 James T. Ehler and www.FoodReference.com unless otherwise noted.
All rights reserved.

You may copy and use portions of this website for non-commercial, personal use only.

Any other use of these materials without prior written authorization is not very nice and violates the copyright.

Please take the time to request permission.

 

 

 

 

 

 

POPULAR PAGES

FREE Food & Beverage Publications
An extensive selection of free magazines and other publications for qualified Food, Beverage & Hospitality professionals

Chef with red wine glass
Order Free Food & Kitchen Catalogs