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GLIN==> Asian carp threaten Great Lakes warns IJC

July 11, 2002 
Asian carp threaten Great Lakes warns IJC 
Immediate action must be taken by the governments of the United States and
Canada to prevent Asian carp from invading the Great Lakes in the near
future, stated the International Joint Commission (IJC) in a letter to the
governments of the United States and Canada released today. Scientists
caution that failure to prevent the invasion of Asian carp may result in
damage to the Great Lakes ecosystem far exceeding those brought about by the
previous invasions of the sea lamprey and the zebra mussel, according to the
Recent evidence indicates that Asian carp, a prolific non-indigenous aquatic
nuisance species, may now be within 25 miles of Lake Michigan - putting the
entire Great Lakes basin ecosystem at near-term risk of invasion. Asian carp
have moved up through the Mississippi River system, and now found in the
Illinois River and the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal connected to the
Great Lakes near Chicago, Illinois. It is believed that, based upon their
current rate of dispersal, Asian carp could reach Lake Michigan this year. 
In its letter, the IJC calls on the U.S. Government to take action to stop
Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes by: 
*	continuing operation of the current electrical barrier in the
Chicago River; and 
*	installing a second, more permanent barrier. 
The IJC also calls on the U.S. and Canadian governments to: 
*	educate the public about the threat of Asian carp to the Great Lakes
*	investigate other chemical and physical environmentally sound
alternatives to prevent the movement of aquatic nuisance species to and from
the Great Lakes; and 
*	consider implementing regulatory controls to prevent transfer of
aquatic nuisance species via other pathways such as the food and bait fish
industries and aquaculture. 
The IJC is a binational organization established by the Boundary Waters
Treaty of 1909 to help Canada and the United States prevent and resolve
disputes over use of waters along their common boundary. Under the 1978
Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement, IJC reports on progress by the two
countries to restore and maintain the chemical, physical and biological
integrity of the waters of the Great Lakes basin ecosystem. For a photograph
of the Asian Carp and the text of the letter set to the governments of the
United States and Canada, visit the IJC website at www.ijc.org
For more information contact:  
Soo Han		IJC Washington  	202-736-9023
Jim Houston		IJC Ottawa        	613-995-0230

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