Manager   •   over 8 years ago

Problem Statement 15-16: "Develop a solution that supports or goes beyond intensive monitoring and rapid response in combating Asian Carps entering the Great Lakes"

Background on Sustainable Fishing Issue
Two species of Asian carp—the bighead and silver carp—were imported into the southern United States to keep aquaculture facilities clean and to provide fresh fish for fish markets. Bighead and silver carp escaped into the wild in the 1970s and have been swimming northward ever since, overwhelming the Mississippi and Illinois River systems. In some areas, the Asian carp now comprise more than 95% of the biomass. Bighead and silver carp are voracious eaters. This is a problem because the diet of Asian carp overlaps with the diet of native fish in the Mississippi and Illinois Rivers. Asian carp consume plankton—algae and other microscopic organisms—stripping the aquatic food web of the key source of food for native fish.

Problem Statement
As Asian carp continue to spread north, the Great Lakes are now at risk. An artificial connection—known as the Chicago Waterway System—connects the Great Lakes to the Illinois River, which connects to the Mississippi River. This waterway system provides a potential pathway for Asian carp to enter the Great Lakes. If these fish enter the Great Lakes, they will likely spread throughout the basin due to the natural and man-made connections and the widespread distribution of suitable habitat. While the fish will not find all parts of the Great Lakes to be hospitable, the lakes contain ample areas where the fish will thrive, reproduce, and cause harm. Eradication of any established population of Asian carp might be difficult and expensive, if possible at all. Currently, intensive monitoring and rapid response actions, is leading the way in the control and management of Asian carp. There must be other ways.

Additional Background
The health of the Great Lakes is important to the U.S. economy. The Great Lakes provide over 1.5 million jobs to U.S citizens and over $62 billion in wages. The establishment of Asian carp could decimate commercial and sportfish populations, hurting the Great Lakes’ commercial, tribal, and sport fisheries, valued at more than $7 billion annually.

Core Category
Fisheries Management; Conservation

Organization Name
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Fish and Aquatic Conservation

Organization Address
5275 Lessburg Pike, Falls Church, VA 22041

Organization Point of Contact (Name)
Robert H. Pos

Organization Point of Contact (Title)
Fishery Biologist

Organization Point of Contact (Phone Number)

Organization Point of Contact (Email Address)

Focus Area

Solution Category
Internet of Things (IoT)


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