Karina Gould, Minister for Democratic Institutions, on behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, announces new funding for the fight against Asian carps. (Photo: Fisheries and Oceans Canada)
Canada’s government has committed up to $20 million over five years, and ongoing, for Asian carp prevention efforts in the Great Lakes.
Asian carps are among the top aquatic invasive species being monitored for their potential establishment in the Great Lakes. Already established in the Mississippi River basin in the U.S., the four species of Asian carps (Bighead, Silver, Grass and Black) aggressively compete with native fishes for food and habitat, and have quickly become the dominant species.
Risk assessments conducted by Canada and the U.S. show that the Great Lakes contains enough food and adequate habitat for Bighead, Silver and Grass carps to support an invasion and establishment.
On behalf of Dominic LeBlanc, Minister of Fisheries, Oceans and the Canadian Coast Guard, Karina Gould, Minister for Democratic Institutions and Member of Parliament for Burlington announced the $20 million investment to Canada’s Asian Carp Program to continue prevention efforts through early warning surveillance, partnering and outreach activities.
Gould said, “I am pleased that Burlington is home to a state-of-the-art laboratory which has bolstered our efforts to fight the entry of Asian carps into the Great Lakes through research and innovation. The Government of Canada remains committed to ensuring that we take all possible measures to protect our treasured Great Lakes.”
This funding will allow Fisheries and Oceans Canada to expand the Asian Carp Program to increase protection of our Great Lakes and preserve our fisheries.
LeBlanc said, “Our Government is committed to protecting the health of Canada’s waterways, marine ecosystems, and our multibillion dollar recreational and commercial fisheries from the threat of aquatic invasive species. I am pleased to announce this investment towards combatting aquatic invasive species that will both strengthen our Asian Carp Program and improve and protect the health of Canada’s freshwater resources for generations to come.”
Canada said it will continue to work closely with provincial and U.S. counterparts to support prevention and control activities, provide scientific support and expertise designed to prevent the introduction and spread of aquatic invasive species.