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Asian Carp: Destroying The Great Lakes

1350 words - 5 pages

Asian Carp should be prevented from entering the Great Lakes because they are destroying the ecosystem in that area. They are a negative contribution to the lakes because they are eating all of the plankton needed for the native fish to survive, which in turn will create a mass starvation among all the fish in the area. The Asian Carp are also a hazard to boaters, as they are capable of jumping out of the water and knocking into fishermen. They can take over an area quickly and never leave because they have no predators, they come in massive swarms, and they breed fast.
There are seven types of Asian carp, but only two of these types, the bighead carp and the silver carp, are considered a threat at the moment. The Great Lakes Fishery Commission records that these carp can get up to four feet and be as big as one hundred pounds. The GLFC also reports that the fish prefer the cold temperatures of the Lakes. Asian carp are bottom feeders; they feed on the lowest part of the food chain, so they are forcing native fish into competing for food such as plankton. They are known to be able to eat two or three times their body weight each day, says Thomas Quail of Michigan Trout Unlimited. They also have the ability to reproduce at a fast rate, which means they can take over an area quickly and with great ease. The United States Environmental Protection Agency reported that the Asian carp are capable of protruding up to 10 feet out of the water by jumping. According to the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation news, the Asian carp were first brought to the United States in the 1970s to be used for algae control, but in the 1990s they began to spread to the Mississippi River due to flooding. These fish, originally from Asia, are still exported and consumed there.
After being introduced to the United States and after being accidently dropped into the Mississippi River, the carp began to spread to Lake Michigan. The waterways are connected from the Great Lakes to the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal, which goes into the Des Plaines River and proceeds to the Mississippi River. The fish are able to travel all the way through these areas. The CBC’s broadcast on Asian carp stated that the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal that joins Lake Michigan and the Mississippi River is the main focus where the fish have entered the Great Lakes.
The Asian carp can only hurt the Great Lakes ecosystem. Because they eat the same food as the filter feeding fish in the food chain, competition is great. If the fish at the bottom of the food chain do not have food, then they will die off. This means that the bigger fish that eat the small fish that have died off will have no food, and so on. Therefore, there will be a mass starvation and the ecosystem will be destroyed. The native fish, such as trout and walleye, would be starved off. This will kill the fishing industry in the Great Lakes. The CBC broadcast also mentioned, “[The invasion of the Asian carp]...

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