Dear EarthTalk : What exactly are Asian carp, and why are they such a big problem lately? 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. 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. 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.
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Invasion USA: Asian Carp Invaders Have Taken the Mississippi, Are the Great Lakes Next?
Fish - Schafer Fisheries
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For hundreds of years, the fishing industry has not only supported millions of Americans livelihood, but has also become an immense avenue of trade and commerce across domestic and foreign borders. Invasive species threaten this avenue and are estimated to cause the United States tens of billions in environmental and economic damage each year they remain in U. An invasive species is defined as a non-native species in an ecosystem whose introduction will likely cause environmental harm National Invasive Species Information Center, Aquaculturists introduced the invasive Asian carp to the United States in for the sole purpose of controlling algae blooms in aquaculture ponds. Algae blooms are an increase in algae and green plants, that may carry toxins, due to an excess amount of nutrients in the water that deplete the amount of oxygen resulting in the death of fish Environmental Protection Agency [EPA],
Asian carp , any of several species of fish belonging to the carp family Cyprinidae that are native to eastern Asia, particularly China and Russia, and naturalized in some American waterways. The grass carp Ctenopharyngodon idella , bighead carp Hypophthalmichthys nobilis , black carp Mylopharyngodon piceus , and silver carp Hypophthalmichthys molitrix , following their accidental introduction into waterways in the United States , are collectively referred to as Asian carp. Floods and bait release by sport fishers allowed members of these species, which had proved invasive in other parts of the world, to colonize the Mississippi River system.