Saving an Ecosystem and an Economy from the Asian Carp: Should we Gate 'em or Grill 'em?

Some call for drastic measures to prevent the Asian Carp from invading the Great Lakes including building bigger walls -- and bigger barbecues. (AP/M. Spencer Green, File)

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Consider the tenacity of the Asian Carp ... as large as 50-pounds, able to eat everything, even through their gills. They leap in clusters at helpless fishermen and have no known predators other than Washington's own Carp Czar. There's a proposal costing Billions to keep the monster fish out of the Great Lakes but if we can't Beat 'em ... maybe we can Eat 'em?

It's been called the craziest fish in the world.
And If you google Asian Carp - you'll understand why.


 

You'll find dozens of Youtube videos featuring schools of giant silver fish leaping - some say flying -- into the air. Occasionally, they land inside the boats that startle them -- even injuring those on board.

 

So far, odd scenes like the one in the video above have only been photographed on US waterways. But this highly invasive fish could make its way into the Great Lakes and even further north.

Carpe Diem: A Fishy Tale -- CBC's The Nature of Things

And so, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers has released a report outlining options for preventing the voracious Asian Carp and other unwanted species from invading the Great Lakes.

Dave Wethington is the Project Manager for the US Army's Corps of Engineers. He worked on the Great Lakes and Mississippi River Interbasin study. We reached him at Chicago's O'Hare airport before he catches a plane to Ohio to take part in public meetings on controlling the carp.


Last July, the Environmental Defence organization published a report on the potential disaster an Asian Carp invasion could cause the Great Lakes. The report outlined how Canadian governments might keep the invasion at bay.

Gillian McEachern is the Campaigns Director at Environmental Defence. She was in our Toronto studio.


When it comes to controlling the population of Asian Carp, part of
the solution may be as close as the grill ...



Louisiana chef Philippe Parola makes the case that we should consider asian carp, the other white meat.

It's a strategy Jackson Landers has investigated. He is a hunter and author, whose books include Eating Aliens: One Man's Adventures Hunting Invasive Animal Species. Jackson Landers joined us from Charlottesville, Virginia.


Share your ideas on solving this dilemma. What do you think should be done about invading Asian Carp?

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This segment was produced by The Current's Peter Mitton, Dawna Dingwall and Sujata Berry.

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