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Asian carp must be stopped from invading Great Lakes

Asian+carp+are+an+invasive+species+that+could+wreak+havoc+in+the+Great+Lakes.
Asian carp are an invasive species that could wreak havoc in the Great Lakes.

Asian carp are an invasive species that could wreak havoc in the Great Lakes.

IMAGE / Flickr

IMAGE / Flickr

Asian carp are an invasive species that could wreak havoc in the Great Lakes.

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In June 2017,  a live Asian carp was caught within 10 miles of Lake Michigan.

This is significant because of its proximity and distance beyond the electric barriers that were put up to stop the invasive species from reaching the Great Lakes in the first place.

Mrs. Leah Thomas, zoology teacher,  said, “Asian carp can jump over dams and other barriers.”

While further study is needed to determine how this carp made it so far, its presence shows the amount of time remaining to protect the Great Lakes is being cut short.

Thomas added that the Asian carp can cause damage to a species already in the Great Lakes. “They are also killing off the freshwater mussels and decreasing the quality of the water,” she said.

As a non-native species, the Asian carp lack natural predators in the Great Lakes region. If they enter the lakes, their unchecked growth could devastate food chains as they expand into rivers, streams, and many more bodies of water.

Thomas said, “Asian carp reduce the population of some species while increasing the population of another. This messes up the food chain in our ecosystems.”

In addition to the negative environmental impacts, the spread of the carp could have severe economic consequences as well.

The Asian carp would aggressively compete with commercial and sport fish for food causing disaster on the $7 billion fishing industry.

Similarly, recreational boating, which contributes $7.4 billion and 58,000 jobs to Michigan’s economy, would be at risk.

This invasive species could destroy the Great Lakes ecosystem and kill freshwater animals.

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Asian carp must be stopped from invading Great Lakes