Scientists from Southern Illinois University report the Asian carp found in Lake Calumet are most likely the result of a cultural release. Human introduction is one of over twenty ways aquatic species may be introduced to new environments. The scientists released their findings after conducting tests on the six year old fish caught in June. As a result of this latest development UnLock Our Jobs released the following statement:
“This discovery underscores that there may have been some who have overreacted to this initial finding,” said Mark Denzler, vice president of the Illinois Manufacturers’ Association. “Just yesterday, leaders of Illinois business and agricultural communities filed a joint legal brief, in support of the Army Corps of Engineers, expressing opposition to a third lawsuit filed by politicians in other states. We’re fighting on behalf of thousands of businesses and farmers across the Mississippi region to rely on these waterways for commerce. Closing the locks based on misinformation and fear makes everyone worse off – we need to proceed based on the facts.”
Lisa Frede, director of regulatory affairs for the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois continued, “Following this isolated discovery back in June, a handful of politicians and environmental alarmists called for drastic action despite our warnings that scientific testing must be conducted first. Now scientists report the fish was most likely a result of human release which only underscores the point that knee-jerk, extreme reactions were unnecessary and counterproductive. Existing barriers are clearly working and now we must work toward a comprehensive solution that will be both economically and environmentally beneficial in the long-term.”
Asian Carp, a collection of four distinct fish species, represent a serious, but manageable threat to the Mississippi and Great Lakes Region. Introduced in the 1970s by southern catfish farmers, Asian Carp traveled north through U.S. waterways to their current location in the Illinois River. To cope with the further spread of these invasive species of carp, regulators installed electric barriers to prevent further progression.
Further preventative measures being considered include lock closures which would cause disruption of commercial traffic through the northern most locks on the Chicago Area Waterway System (CAWS).
For more information on the negative effects of Chicago Area Waterway System lock closures, visit: www.unlockourjobs.org
UnLock Our Jobs is a coalition dedicated to protecting the essential waterway connection between the Great Lakes and the Mississippi River corridor. A project of the Chemical Industry Council of Illinois, coalition members represent agriculture, business, labor, river communities, and concerned citizens working towards a comprehensive solution to stop the spread of Asian Carp, while leaving the Chicago locks open to commerce.