Asian Carp Press Conference with Sierra Club Ontario, GLU, Ecojustice & TVO's The Water Brothers
Monday June 4, 2012, Sierra Club Ontario, alongside TVO’s Water Brothers, Ecojustice, Great Lakes United and Parry Sound MPP Norm Miller, delivered a strong message to the Ontario government that action needs to be taken on preventing Asian Carp from entering our Great Lakes. We presented petitions containing over 900 signatures, signifying concern for this matter among Ontarians.
Important points were discussed during the question answer period of the press conference. One significant argument made was that while the high cost of hydrosperation is often a reason given for inaction, the speakers asked listeners not to forget that the long term cost benefit is higher, as the fisheries in the Great Lakes have a yearly net worth of over a billion. Precautionary action will be cheaper than fixing the inevitable problem later on. As one of the Water Brother’s stated, with other invasive species, they just showed up and we were forced to deal with them. In this case, however, we know they are coming and it is of utmost importance we do something to stop them.
To sign the petition, go to http://ontario.sierraclub.ca/en/great-lakes-section/publications/asian-carp-petition
Click here to read the TORONTO SUN coverage of the Press Conference or read below:
Groups want to keep Asian carp out of Great LakesTyler, left, and Alex Mifflin, of the eco-adventure series The Water Brothers, were at Queen's Park on Monday June 4 2012 to call for strong action to prevent the Asian Carp, an invasive species, into the Great Lakes. The brothers support a petition that encourages the physical separation of the Mississippi basins, where the carp are found, and Lake Michigan. (Toronto Sun/Antonella Artuso)
TORONTO - It’s no fish tale.
Environmental groups are asking the Ontario government to push for the physical separation of the Great Lakes and the Mississippi basins to prevent the unwanted arrival of a monster-sized fish that crowd out native species.
The invasive Asian Carp, which can grow to 40 kilograms, dominates the U.S. waterways where it is found, and only electric fences keep it from entering Lake Michigan.
“Once into the Great Lakes, they could swim up rivers, get into our lakes and move across during flooding to adjacent rivers,” Mary Muter, of the Sierra Club Ontario, said Monday. “Some people have said, ‘Oh, they won’t find suitable habitat in the Great Lakes,’ but right now they’re in the Chicago sewer and sanitary canal.”
Muter said her organization predicts the carp could make it as far north as James Bay in Ontario.
A petition submitted to the Ontario government Monday asks it to work with the Great Lakes Commission and the Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative to see the multi-billion-dollar project implemented.
Alex Mifflin, who with his sibling — Tyler — hosts the eco-adventure series The Water Brothers on TVO, said they put together a 30-minute episode that examined the Asian Carp problem in the United States.
“These two fish — the Silver and Bighead Carp — have the potential to be the worst invasive species we’ve ever seen,” he said. “We saw how in some rivers 97% of all fish biomass are carp.”
Mifflin said Ontarians don’t want to look back in a few decades and regret not doing more now to stop the invasion.
Natural Resources Minister Michael Gravelle said the government recognizes the serious threat posed by the Asian Carp.