Weedy Species – Asian Carp

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Asian carp is a traditional Chinese symbol of friendship and love. An ancient legend of “Carp jumping over Longmen” conveys parents’ wishes for their children’s succeed. Nevertheless, research from Professor Kim Cuddington of the Faculty of Science at Waterloo indicates that “the probability of Asian carp establishment soars with the introduction of 20 fish into the Great Lakes, under some conditions.”

Asian carp is not the kind of species sneaking into the United States but was introduced by the American government. In the 1960 s, American government introduced four kinds of Asian carp in order to inhibit the growth of aquatic plants, algae and plankton in ponds and lakes. At first, it did play a necessary role. However, with the increasing number of Asian carps, some carps slip into the Mississippi River and its tributaries and then they run rampant very quickly. Due to the great appetite of carps, a huge amount of aquatic organisms which native species live on were pillaged. “This species will have a huge impact on the food web,” says Professor Cuddington. “Not only is it a fast-growing fish physically, but the population itself grows very quickly. A female can lay well over a million eggs a year, and with no known predators present in the Great Lakes, the Asian carp could dominate the waters and impact fisheries.”

It is interesting that why Asian carp which is called “terrifying invaders” in America is “endangered species” in China. This is because Chinese are used to regard carps as an extremely delicious food material. Americans are not used to eat this kind of prickly fish so that there is no effective method to destroy the weedy species except biological control and trapping of vulnerable juveniles.

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One Response to Weedy Species – Asian Carp

  1. jnmllr says:

    viz.

    A Reporter at Large
    Fish Out of Water
    The Asian-carp invasion.
    by Ian Frazier October 25, 2010
    http://www.newyorker.com/reporting/2010/10/25/101025fa_fact_frazier

    “In the Shedd Aquarium, on the lakefront in downtown Chicago, there’s a video display that makes visitors laugh until they’re falling down. The video is in an area of the aquarium devoted to invasive species, and it shows silver carp (Hypophthalmichthys molitrix), a fish originally from China and eastern Siberia, jumping in the Illinois River near Peoria. A peculiarity of silver carp is that when they are alarmed by potential predators they leap from the water, sometimes rocketing fifteen feet into the air. In the video, several people are cruising in a small motorboat below the spillway of a lock or a dam while fish fly all around. The people get hit in the arms, the back, the sides. They’re ducking, they’re yelling, the silver carp are flying, the boat is swerving. Aquarium visitors whoop and wipe the tears away and watch the video again.”

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