Conservation groups release joint international statement on invasive Asian carp
September 9, 2013
MILWAUKEE, Wis. – Sept. 9, 2013 – Ducks Unlimited Inc. (DUI) released a statement this week on the threat to the Great Lakes presented by non-native carp. The conservation groups called on governmental and non-governmental organizations to move toward the ecological separation of the Great Lakes watershed as soon as possible, as part of a comprehensive strategy to protect the Great Lakes from Asian carp and other invasive species.
“DU is concerned about the potential negative impact to waterfowl and wetlands, especially with two of the species, grass and black carp,” said Becky Humphries, director of DUI’s Great Lakes and Atlantic Region. “Grass carp can eat their weight in vegetation daily, which over time can have a devastating effect on waterfowl food resources in the Great Lakes.”
Humphries added that jumping carp also pose a threat to waterfowl hunters who often travel in boats during low-light conditions.
“The Great Lakes are a key mid-continent migration rest stop for millions of waterfowl each spring and fall, traveling between Canada and the United States,” said Dr. Mark Gloutney, director of DUC’s Eastern Region. “The wetlands and shallow bays of the lakes provide food resources for many key species of waterfowl, especially canvasbacks, redheads and lesser and greater scaup.”
Gloutney and Humphries agree that ecological separation is the best long-term solution to preventing not only the current wave of Asian carp invasion, but protecting the Great Lakes and Mississippi River watersheds from future invasions in both countries.
DUI and DUC strongly encourage federal, tribal/aboriginal, provincial, state and local agencies and public organizations to take quick action once the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin Study (GLMRIS) is released. Ecological separation will not be easy, but the past success of partnerships such as the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement indicate that it can be.