While Asian carp have been bred in China for over 1,000 years, they are an invasive and entirely destructive species to the Mississippi river and now in the Great Lakes.
They can range in size from 50 to 100 pounds and eat almost half of their body weight in plankton every day causing real damage to a delicate balance of the lake ecosystems.
Now the fear of their destructive ways has set the stage for a state against state battle in the Midwest; Michigan filed suit, along with five other Great Lakes states, to force Illinois and the federal government to close the locks on the Chicago Sanitary and Ship Canal and stop these fish in their tracks. The court responded with a one-sentence statement denying Michigan's request to immediately close the locks.
The fate of the locks, the carp, and the many people who depend on the ecosystem of the Great Lakes remains unclear.
"They are ecological and economic danger to the Great Lakes. And, quite simply, they are biological terrorists. And if they get in our Great Lakes, and hit, impact the ecology and the economy of eight different states, two different Canadian provinces, it could cost billions." Mike Cox, Michigan Attorney General
1) What is a native species? What is an invasive species?
2) What is an ecosystem? Why are they important?
1) What did you learn from this report?
2) How do you think this problem should be resolved? In the courts? Through legislation?
3) Research some invasive species in your ecosystem? how are/were they dealt with?
Read the transcript:
PBS NewsHour Extra: Science :