“The Great Lakes are important to the economic and cultural make-up of Canadians who live and work on these waters. These lakes support both recreational and commercial fisheries and a way of life for our people,” said Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans Canada. “Our efforts to date have prevented Asian carp from establishing in the Great Lakes system and we will continue to do what is necessary to keep them from taking over this valuable watershed.”
“Our Government of Canada is focused on protecting the health of our Great Lakes Basin, which includes Lake Simcoe,” said Peter Van Loan, M.P. York-Simcoe. “The interconnected watersheds demand that we work to eliminate threats to the ecosystem from invasive species. Delivering results for our Great Lakes Basin will help to support the health of fresh water lakes like ours — Lake Simcoe.”
New funding totalling $17.5 million will be allocated over the next five years to four key activities: Prevention, early warning, rapid response, and management and control.
As part of prevention activities, emphasis will be placed on initiatives to educate people about the danger of this invasive species and ways to prevent humans from bringing Asian carp into Canadian waters.
The Government of Canada will also work with American counterparts to develop an extensive early warning and monitoring system to alert officials of signs of any potential problems along with rapid response protocols for both countries to be able to react quickly should there be signs that they are spreading. To manage and control the threat of their entry into Canadian waters, the Government of Canada will also work with enforcement agencies to ensure compliance with regulations relating to the transport of Asian carp.
“The Great Lakes is the largest freshwater system in the world and represents one of Canada’s most valuable assets,” added Minister Ashfield. “We are committed to working with our American counterparts to continue to protect the Great Lake basin. Together these measures will go a long way toward our ultimate goal of stopping Asian carp from entering and becoming established in the Great Lakes.”
With Asian carp having established in the Mississippi River system in the U.S., officials on both sides of the border share concerns that they could enter the Great Lakes watershed. Asian carp aggressively compete with native fish for food and habitat, and can quickly become the dominant species. Canada continues to work closely with American counterparts to address concerns about this highly invasive species and to prevent the introduction of Asian carp into the Great Lakes system.