Ann Arbor, Mich. — The Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee (ACRCC) today released new Asian carp footage to the broadcast media and to the public. The footage, which is freely available online in both high-definition and streaming formats, for the first time provides extensive, professionally filmed video of Asian carp, an invasive species threatening to enter the Great Lakes.
The public may access the video by visiting www.glfcvideos.org.
The term “Asian carp” refers to several species of carp originating in Asia. The bighead and silver varieties of Asian carp were imported into the United States in the 1970s to keep aquaculture facilities clean, to manage waste, and, in the case of bighead carp, to serve as a foodfish for human consumption. The carps escaped into the Mississippi River through floods and have thrived in the environment, working their way northward toward the Great Lakes.
The Chicago Area Waterway System, a series of manmade canals and rivers in and near Chicago, connects the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. The waterway is the most-likely pathway for Asian carp to enter the Great Lakes. A recent risk assessment conducted by scientists from Canada and the United States concluded that Asian carp, should they enter the Great Lakes, would likely spread throughout the basin and cause considerable harm.
The footage (in the form of short, un-narrated “b-roll” clips) is organized into four categories:
Asian carp in the wild (Illinois River), which shows jumping silver carp and demonstrates the physical and ecological dangers this fish presents.
The Chicago Area Waterway System, which shows connecting channels and canals that are the most likely pathway for Asian carp and other invasive species to move between the Great Lakes and Mississippi River basins. This category includes aerial footage of the waterway, provided by the U.S. Coast Guard.
The electrical invasive species barrier and other structures designed to keep Asian carp and other invasive species from migrating between the two basins.
Asian carp in captivity, which includes clear underwater footage of live Asian carp at the Shedd Aquarium in Chicago.
Fishery Commission at the request of the ACRCC. Film crews from Digital Design Services of Green Bay, Wisconsin and the U.S. Coast Guard produced the footage.
The ACRCC was established in 2009 and, with support from federal, state, and local agencies, and other private stakeholder entities, works to implement a sustainable Asian carp control program to prevent introduction into the Great Lakes. The committee’s goal is to undertake actions to protect and maintain the integrity and safety of the Great Lakes ecosystem from an Asian carp invasion via all viable pathways. For more information about the ACRCC, including the action framework for Asian carp prevention, visitwww.asiancarp.us.