More than Economics as Asian Carp Invade the Great Lakes

Thursday, June 24, 2010 - 07:04 AM

An Asian carp was found for the first time beyond electric barriers meant to keep the invasive species out of the Great Lakes.

A fishermen caught it near Chicago's South Side, about six miles from Lake Michigan. Scientists fear that if the carp reach the Great Lakes, they could ruin the region's $7 billion fishing industry.  And I agree that a lot of jobs and livelihoods are at stake and I understand the fear of fishermen, the sense of despair upon hearing that a dreaded carp has been found six miles from Lake Michigan.

But the Great Lakes are the largest bodies of fresh water in the world, with 20 percent of the planet's fresh water, and they encompass some of the most fragile and diverse ecosystems in the country.  To reduce this to an economic story is to miss the significance of a possible environmental disaster.


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