Managment Stratagies for the Invasion of Asian Carp

by atorn1 on April 17, 2015 - 5:35pm

For my third and final blog I will come around full circle on the whole Asian Carp in the Great Lakes Debate. I started out with brief introduction of Asian Carp for my first blog and then gave actual statistics on the effects of Asian Carp in the Illinois River. Now I will discuss one of the possible management strategies being discussed incase Asian Carp do make their way into the Great Lakes.

So Varble and Secchi analyzed the results of the first national survey on the attitudes of US fish consumers towards Asian carp. Results from the survey showed that most respondents said they would be willing to at least try a free sample of Asian carp, and would be willing to pay for some preparation of it (Varble and Secchi, 2013). Respondents who were willing to pay, were willing to pay similar or equal prices as other more popular fish on the market (Varble and Secchi, 2013).This is remarkable considering that most people in the U.S. consider carp to be a trash fish. This study showed that there is a market for Asian carp, however there can be negative impacts from doing so. The main problem was repercussions that may arise from developing market demand (Varble and Secchi, 2013). More specifically we could become accustom to using the meat for various things and when we finally eradicate Asian carp from the Great Lakes the economy could take a hit. Another issue that could arise is the extirpation of Asian carp from the Great Lakes. I personally am all for the extirpation of Asian carp, but I am sure there are people out there that think differently. However this option is still a win–win strategy for ecosystems, taxpayers, consumers, commercial fishermen and processors, and recreationalists and should be taken into consideration for those reasons (Varble and Secchi, 2013). 

Another study performed by Nuñez et al 2011, analyzed the pros and cons of controlling invasive species by eating them. The study showed using "Eater Invader campaigns" can help increase public knowledge and awareness about the species, which will hopefully help to eradicate it. Also, studies have shown that we as humans are very good at reducing populations of not only invasive species but all species as well. However it is important to note that it is much easier to get rid of species by eating them when they are rare and not well established. The main negative aspect of using "Eating Invader campaigns" was that if a species becomes a locally attractive food item, a campaign to control or eradicate the species may turn into a campaign to protect it. Making the decision to start or maintain a program on human consumption of an invasive species as a way to control it, should arise from carefully considering the potential benefits and problems that the program could produce (Nuñez et al, 2011).

Nuñez, M. A., S. Kuebbing, R. D. Dimarco, and D. Simberloff. 2011. Invasive Species: To eat or not to eat, that is the question. Conservation Letters: A journal of the Society for Conservation Biology. 5: 334-341.

Varble, S., and S. Secchi. 2013. Human consumption as an invasive species management strategy. A preliminary assessment of the marketing potential of invasive Asian carp in the US. Appetite. 65: 58-67.

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