Why don't Americans eat Asian carp

Asian carp threaten U & period; S & period; Great Lakes


Two species of Asian carp could drive domestic fish from the great lakes, according to a new government report warns of these invasive fish gaining a foothold in this new area.

BigHead and silver carp in the Midwestern rivers pose a "significant environmental risk" to the Great Lakes, particularly Lakes Michigan, Huron and Erie, according to a risk assessment released today (July 16) by Canadian and US scientists.

"Ever since these alien fish first escaped and began to breed productively in the rivers of the Midwest, the questions everyone has been asking have been: can a farmed population survive in the Great Lakes area, and would it be a big problem if they did? " Now we know the answers, and unfortunately they are yes and again yes, "said Marcia McNutt, director of the United States Geological Survey, in a statement." This study is helping scientists and resource managers in Canada and the US determine how and where theirs are Step up efforts as they continue to prevent the establishment of these invasive fish. "

Over the next 20 years, the risk of fishy invasion continues to rise as the carp continue to spawn in midwestern rivers the researchers found. She added that her findings are based on containment efforts ongoing through November 2010 and included no additional efforts established since then. [Gallery: Invasive Species]

The scientists found that parts of the great lakes should hold enough food to support the Asian carp making their way to the lakes. The most likely entry point would be across the Chicago area waterway system, the series of rivers and canals that connects Lake Michigan with the lower Des Plaines River, the Illinois River, and the Mississippi River.

If the carp spread in the great lakes, they would likely be ousting native species by competing with them for food, especially plankton. The resulting decline in plankton-eating fish leads to a loss of predatory fish that eat plankton-eaters. Asian carp prey could also be yellow on the larvae of certain fish species such as pikeperch and perch, the scientists reported.

Strategies to help the invasive carp off the great lakes include tracking and monitoring the fish and possibly installing electrical dispersal barriers to prevent movement towards Lake Michigan. Some biologists have also suggested that Americans eat the carp that are consumed elsewhere even though the fish are boniness to reduce their numbers.

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