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

Tilefish :History & Facts       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       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        Cooking Contests        Free Magazines        Food Links  
Copyright notice

 

 

 

POPULAR PAGES

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