Ever since we were invaded by the white perch in the 80s (that is what we called it I am not sure of its real name) I can't understand why we don't have stricter laws pertaining to the emptying of ballasts by ocean going vessels. it looks like it should be possible to reqiure the water to be treated or just find a way of using the engines natural heat to heat the water to a certain temp killing all invasive organisims in the water. I guess its ok to blame the gobies on the walleye population drop and no the freaking 1000s of square miles of canadian nets in the water!!!!!!!
The problem of ballast water discharge was covered in the 'Clean Water Act', but the loophole was added to exempt ballast water discharge for the big money contributors of the maritime industry. Polluter GW Bush recently gutted the Clean Water Act act further to help his big business buddies, introduce more exotics, and to poison and kill more Americans for higher profits. It would only take one amendment to fix the Clean Water Act, but the Republican administration will not allow it.
Here's a short article in the "Ohio Fish and Game" publication relating to the big head carp. This may be old news for some, but all the "newbies" can check it out.
"Ohio governor Bob Taft has expressed urgent support for cooperative state and federal action to prevent the introduction of giant Asian carp and other invasive aquatic species into the waters of the Great Lakes basin.
Taft's call for action was sent in letters to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, other Great Lakes governors, memebers of Ohio's Congressional delegation, co-chairs of the Congressional Great Lakes Task Force, and the chair of the Energy and Water Subcommittee of the House Appropriations Committee.
Describing Asian carp and other invasive species as 'a threat that will ultimately lead to the potentially overwhelming economic and ecological losses' for Ohio and other Great Lakes states, Taft called for 'increased attention, action and funding' in preventing these invaders from entering the Great Lakes and their tributary streams.
'Lake Erie and the other Great Lakes that form the world's largest freshwater ecosytem are facing numerous new challenges that must be collectively addressed,' Taft said. 'Changes occuring within the Great Lakes often have significant and lasting effects, so action on this issue must be taken quickly.'
Asian carp, the most recent in a series of invasive aquatic species to threaten the Great Lakes ecosystem, are large, voracious fish imported in the 1960s into the Mississippi Valley states, where they were prized for their ability to clean vegetation and snails from commerical fish-farming ponds. Carp accidently released from these ponds have migrated up the Mississippi River and into the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal to within a few miles of Lake Michigana and, potentially, all the waters of the Great Lakes Basin.
Taft's letters endorse the construction and permanent operation of an electronic barrier in the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, similar to one installed last year as a temporary demonstration project. The barrier creates a harmless electronic field that prevents Asian carp from moving through the canal and into Lake Michigan.
'I would encourage continued, acclerated and comprehensive investigation into a long-term solution for this issue,' he said.
Aquatic nuisance species are non-native fish and aquatic animals that are accidently or deliberately introduced into the Great Lakes, often from the ballast water of ships that are entering the lakes from oversee ports.
Examples of such species that have entered the Great Lakes in recent years include the zebra mussel, the round goby and the sea lamprey."
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