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Government Taking Steps To Prevent Spread Of Asian Carp

THUNDER BAY, ON - January 7, 2010 - Ontario is supporting legal efforts by Michigan and Asian Carpother American states to prevent the spread of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. The move recognizes the significant economic threat these fish pose to the province's fisheries. A legal brief from the Province has been filed with the United States Supreme Court supporting Michigan's motion for a preliminary injunction to close the locks in the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal. The closure is one of a number of measures sought by Michigan to keep this invasive species from passing into Lake Michigan.

Recreational and commercial fishing are vital to Ontario's economy, providing jobs and recreation for many Ontarians:

Approximately 1.4 million anglers fish in the province each year, spending more than $2.3 billon dollars annually on fisheries-related expenditures.
The commercial fishery in the Great Lakes is valued at about $200 million annually.
The U.S. Supreme Court will determine Ontario's participation in the proceedings.

"Invasive species don't respect international borders. The potential impact of Asian carp on Ontario's economy and ecosystems is a serious concern. We stand with our American colleagues in supporting all steps necessary to prevent their entry into the Great Lakes."

 – Donna Cansfield
Minister of Natural Resources

Biologists fear Asian carp could devastate fisheries in the Great Lakes.
Indiana, New York, Wisconsin, Ohio and Minnesota have all backed the Michigan action.
In some parts of Illinois, Asian carp now make up more than 90 per cent of the fish population.
In 2004, Ontario banned the buying and selling of live Asian carp.

Read about the Invading Species Program, a partnership between the Ministry of Natural Resources, the Ontario Federation of Anglers and Hunters and other organizations to raise public awareness of non-native species introduced to Ontario.
Find out more about aquatic invasive species.

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