The Nature Conservancy today called for greater action to control the spread of invasive species in response to an announcement by state and federal officials that scientists have found 20 new positive eDNA detections for Asian Carp here in Lake Erie.
“Asian carp and other invasive species pose a real and ongoing threat to the economy and the ecology of Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes,” said Lindsay Chadderton, The Nature Conservancy’s Great Lakes aquatic invasive species director and part of the team with the University of Notre Dame that developed the eDNA detection tool. “This announcement – that evidence of live carp in Sandusky Bay is even more extensive than we thought – reinforces this threat and lends additional urgency to our efforts to control the spread of these fish.”
Aquatic invasive species like Asian carp are currently the greatest threat facing the Great Lakes, said Chadderton, pointing to an economic study that substantiates damage to the Great Lakes to be hundreds of millions of dollars annually from all aquatic invasive species combined. The Conservancy commissioned the study by the Anderson Economic Group and released it earlier this year. A full copy of that report can be downloaded from http://nature.org/greatlakes.
“These results just add to the weight of evidence that Asian carp are present in Lake Erie. These results should raise the level of concern to those still questioning whether or not Asian carp are present in the Great Lakes.”
Even if live Asian carp currently exist in Lake Erie, it’s not too late to control the population and contain their spread, said John Stark, the Freshwater Conservation Director for the Conservancy in Ohio.
“TNC and partners are aware of emerging techniques that may be able to limit population size and reproduction. Should fish be captured there are techniques to potentially determine the source or sources of the invasion. We stand ready to help design strategies that help assess and control these fish,” Stark said.
“It remains important to prevent additional Asian carp or other invasive species from transferring between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River basins,” Stark said.
“This is a shared problem and requires a shared solution.”
More information on this issue can be found online:
The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to protect the most ecologically important lands and waters around the world for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its 1 million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 120 million acres worldwide. The Nature Conservancy is working to make the Great Lakes watershed among the most effectively managed ecosystems on Earth.
For more information, visit http://nature.org/greatlakes.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
Senior Media Relations Manager
The Nature Conservancy in Ohio