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Asian Carp: an invasive species in the Great Lakes - Essay Example

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Asian Carp: an invasive species in the Great Lakes

imported into the southern U.S to serve the food fish industry as well as keeping aquaculture facilities clean from algae, fish hatcheries as well as sewers. By 1980, these two species had escaped from aquaculture facilities and fishers had captured them in the wild in Kentucky, Louisiana and Arkansas. The 1980s and 1990s floods provided extensive rearing and spawning habitat, which aided high survival rates for their offspring. This enabled them to expand their range greatly and they have become a chief ecological and economic nuisance (Hansen, p2).
Asian carps have engulfed the Illinois and Mississippi River systems after having escaped from aquaculture in the Deep South and as they have moved northward through. They feed on plankton, which are the food web foundation. Consequently, they may negatively affect the food web by bringing about large-scale changes at the structure’s low end.
This type of non-native fish is a huge, voracious eater and it can grow up to four feet long and weigh one hundred pounds. It is able to spread fast, reproduce in great numbers and become the predominant species in an ecosystem. Additionally, the fish is dangerous as on hearing the sound of approaching motors, it is fond of leaping out of the water up to 8 feet. It reproduces quickly and can displace native species quickly. They presently account for as much as ninety percent of the fish population in River Illinois’ stretches and scientists have expressed the fear that this could be the same in the Great Lakes, which could lead to the destruction of native species (Belkin, para6).
An attempt of using electric barrier approximately twenty miles from Lake Michigan, supposed to be the last best way of stopping them from invading the Great Lakes, proved futile when on January this year, for the first time, scientists found a genetic material from the Asian carp in Lake Michigan. White House Council on Environmental Quality’s head, Nancy Sutley, reported that in spite of ...Show more


Every year, their tribal, recreational and commercial fisheries are valued at more than seven billion dollars. The lakes are a rich tourist attraction sites and additionally, 40…
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Asian Carp: an invasive species in the Great Lakes
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