Great Lake Mayors demand action on Asian Carp

A bighead carp, one of several Asian carp varieties. (Photo courtesy US Geological Survey via IJC admin)

They eat up to 40 per cent of their weight in a single day and threaten commercial and sport fisheries on the Great Lakes. That is why mayors of Canadian and U.S. cities are demanding action on the Asian Carp.

During the 16th annual Conference of the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence River Cities Initiative, 80 mayors signed the “Mayors’ Declaration to Stop Asian Carp” in Sheboygan, Wisconsin this week.

“We must, by all means at our disposal, prevent them from destroying the Great Lakes and eventually, the St. Lawrence,” declared Chatham-Kent Mayor Darrin Canniff.

He said mayors on both sides of the border are asking governments to double their efforts to prevent the invasive species spread.

Four species of Asian Carp were introduced into clean up ponds in the southern U.S. years ago, but since then have entered the Mississippi River and made their way up to the Brandon Road Dam near Joliet, Illinois. From there, it is feared the fish, which can weigh up to 100 lbs, will enter Lake Michigan.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers recently recommended new measures at the dam to prevent the species spread. The initiative said the recommendations pave the way “for U.S. Congress to invest in the project.”

“Humankind has created this problem, and now humankind needs to take action to rectify the situation,” said Quebec City Deputy Mayor, Michelle Morin-Doyle.