August 7, 2012 / DFO and OMNR are joining the ACRCC
WASHINGTON – The Obama Administration announced today that Canada has joined the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC), the latest step in the Administration’s effort to ensure comprehensive action to protect the Great Lakes from invasive Asian carp.
Ontario has joined the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) in a further step to prevent the introduction of Asian carp into the Great Lakes.
The U.S. government established the committee in 2009 to coordinate efforts among federal, state and local agencies to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. If Asian carp enter the Great Lakes, they could potentially eat the food supply our native fish depend on and crowd them out of their habitat, posing serious economic, social and environmental threats to Ontario and neighbouring Great Lakes states.
- Ontario released its Invasive Species Strategic Plan on July 3, 2012. The plan focuses on strong coordination between local, provincial, federal, and bi-national organizations to combat the threat of invasive species like Asian carp, zebra mussels and round gobies.
- In 2005, Ontario prohibited the buying and selling of several live invasive fish species, including the four species of Asian carp.
- Since 2010, enforcement officers have seized almost 39,000 pounds of Asian carp that were destined for Ontario markets.
- ACRCC partners include the Council on Environmental Quality, Fisheries and Oceans Canada, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and all eight Great Lakes states.
- Read the Ontario Invasive Species Strategic Plan.
The Obama Administration established the ACRCC in 2009 to ensure coordinated and effective action among Federal, State and local agencies to keep Asian carp from establishing in the Great Lakes as a permanent solution is developed. With today’s announcement, the Federal Department of Fisheries and Oceans Canada and the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources will join other ACRCC partners including the Council on Environmental Quality, U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, U.S. Coast Guard, Great Lakes Fishery Commission, and all eight Great Lakes states in implementing a coordinated Asian carp control strategy.
“With the health of the Great Lakes at stake, we remain focused on seizing every opportunity to build on our comprehensive plan for keeping Asian carp away,” said John Goss, Asian Carp Director at the Council on Environmental Quality. “Having Canadian experts at the table ensures a bi-national approach to protecting our Great Lakes, and protecting the health and economy of American and Canadian communities.”
The Honourable Keith Ashfield, Minister of Fisheries and Oceans, echoed Canada’s strong support for combatting Asian carp. “The Great Lakes represent one of North America’s most valuable resources,” he said.“Working with our provincial and American partners, as well other key stakeholders, will maximize our efforts to counter this invasive threat to our shared waters.”
“Asian carp are a serious economic, social and environmental threat to Ontario and to all jurisdictions that border the Great Lakes,” said Michael Gravelle, Ontario’s Minister of Natural Resources. “Participation in the ACRCC will significantly complement Ontario’s new Invasive Species Strategic Plan, as well as enforcement efforts, rapid response planning, monitoring and province-wide education to prevent the introduction of Asian carp to Ontario waters.”
The Obama Administration has invested more than $150 million in an effective Asian carp control strategy that includes aggressive tracking and monitoring, strengthening the electric dispersal barriers in the Chicago Area Waterways System, and developing cutting edge biological controls and other new technologies to prevent the spread of Asian carp, among other measures. In May, the Government of Canada pledged $17.5 million federally to help prevent the introduction and establishment of Asian carp in the Canadian waters of the Great Lakes.
To learn more about the ACRCC, please visit: www.asiancarp.us.