June 10, 2011

Our Brothers the Asian Carp

From Bryan Walsh of Time: "Mississippi Floods Could Spread the Invasive Asian Carp"
Scientists are worried that the unusually heavy spring floods along the Mississippi River may free a new battalion of Asian carp:
Duane Chapman, a U.S. Geological Survey biologist and Asian carp expert, says the fish are likely to show up in places where Mississippi floodwaters intruded. They can weigh up to 100 pounds grow 4 feet long and live for 25 years.
They could be crowding out food sources of native species for decades. "I think there is a very serious issue here," said Chapman. "We may now be finding them in lakes, ponds, bayous, anywhere the river water went. Those things will be full of carp now."  . . .
Given the sheer amount of destruction wrought by the floods, there's not a whole lot that ecologists can do to prevent escapee carp from making a new home in the Mississippi system. In fact, it might be time to reconsider the war against the Asian carp and other invasive species. . . . [W]hen it comes to invasives, Asian carp are nothing next to another species that has proliferated into the billions, spread to every corner of the world and displaced other animals and plants and sucked up every available natural resource. They're called human beings.

No comments: