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Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Invasive Species? Full-Speed Attack Mode!

U.S. names Asian carp czar:
On a conference call today with Illinois Sen. Dick Durbin and other congressional leaders, President Obama's Council on Environmental Quality announced the selection of John Goss to lead the near $80 million, multi-pronged federal attack against Asian carp.

"This is a serious challenge, a serious threat," Durbin said. "When it comes to the Asian carp threat, we are not in denial. We are not in a go-slow mode. We are in a full attack, full-speed ahead mode. We want to stop this carp from advancing."

Asian carp, which have steadily moved toward Chicago since the 1990s, present a challenge for scientists and fish biologists. The fish are aggressive eaters, consuming as much as 40 percent of their body weight a day in plankton, and frequently beat out native fish for food, threatening those populations.

They are also prolific breeders with no natural predators in the U.S. The fish were imported in the 1970s to help wastewater treatment facilities in the South keep their retention ponds clean. Mississippi River flooding allowed the fish to escape and then move into the Missouri and Illinois rivers. Some species can grow to more than 100 pounds.
It was a mistake to import these aliens to do the jobs Americans wouldn't do. It's clear these prolific breeders threaten the native population. Yes they pose a serious challenge, a serious threat - but our brave and loyal government representatives are not afraid to meet it with a full attack in full-speed ahead mode.

These interloping carp may just be looking for a better life for themselves and their hatchlings, but there is no dishonest talk about that, or "comprehensive fishery reform", or waving a magic wand to give the invasive alien species legal status. That would be silly. After all, the native population is threatened. What more does any faithful civil servant need to know?

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