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Recent News
New French Language Asian Carp Canada Website Makes a Splash 

SAULT STE. MARIE, ON – The Invasive Species Centre has partnered with Fisheries and Oceans Canada to launch a comprehensive French language version of their Canadian website on Asian carps. Asian Carp Canada (www.carpeasiatique.ca) provides information on all aspects of Asian carps, including the most recent prevention, warning, response and research efforts to address the overall ecological and socio-economic threats of Asian carps to the Great Lakes and beyond.

Dave Burden, Regional Director General, Central and Arctic Region of Fisheries and Oceans Canada said, “the need to protect our environment, economy and social well-being from the Asian carps threat is of paramount importance. This is why partnerships between Fisheries and Oceans Canada, the Invasive Species Centre and others across North America are so vital to ensuring that up-to-date information on Asian carps is available to all Canadians.” 

The website serves as a gateway to retrieve reports, fact sheets, webinars, maps and educational materials in a way that is easily accessible for a variety of audiences.  Visitors to the website can explore information describing the four different species of Asian carps, their history in North America, and the ecological and socio-economic risks if they were to establish in Canadian waters. Visitors will also learn about the many efforts toward monitoring, prevention, and response in both Canada and the United States with an emphasis on Canadian actions, including work underway by Fisheries and Oceans Canada. The website also offers more technical and scientific information for those interested in exploring topics in greater detail.

Tracey Cooke, Executive Director of the Invasive Species Centre said, “Every Canadian needs to know more about the serious threat of Asian carps to the ecology and economy of the Great Lakes. The new carpeasiatique.ca website offers easy access to timely information about Asian carps in the French language. Increasing collective knowledge and awareness about Asian carps will help to prevent their establishment in Canadian waters.”

“Asian carps” refer to four species of carps (Bighead, Black, Grass, Silver) that are native to China and southern Russia. All four species have escaped into the wild in North America and three have established self-sustaining populations, particularly in the Mississippi waterway system in the United States. Beyond the tremendous socio-economic cost for the commercial and recreational fisheries, the establishment of Asian carps into Canadian waters poses a threat to native species and overall biodiversity because Asian carps are likely to alter fish habitat, compete with native fishes for food and space, and act as carriers for diseases or parasites.

Winning Team Reels in $3,000

 

On Saturday, March 5th, the Asian Carp Innovative Solutions Competition brought together experts and the public to watch fifteen teams of post-secondary students propose original ideas to address the threat of Asian carp in the Great Lakes. The winners, "Operation Carpageddon" from the University of Toronto Scarborough, reeled in $3,000 in prize money. Their innovative solution involved the installment of a non-physical barrier in the Chicago Area Waterway system that would carbonize a section of the waterway to deter Asian carp species from entering the Great Lakes system. Second place, and $1500, went to CarpBusters from the University of Waterloo for their idea of implementing biological control using engineered Koi Herpesvirus 3 to manage populations. Third place were the Sustainable Carp Poolers from Fleming College who suggested luring Asian carp into a "carp pool" with sonar acoustics and using the harvest as a sustainable source of agricultural products. The third place team won $500.   

The contest would not have been possible without the generous support of Fisheries & Oceans Canada, the Ontario Federation of Anglers & Hunters, the Great Lakes Fisheries Commission, and the University of Toronto Scarborough. 

To learn more about the competition and Asian carps visit the Asian Carp Canada website.

Bill 37, the Invasive Species Act, Receives Royal Assent

The Invasive Species Centre endorses the leadership of the Province of Ontario in passing Bill 37, the Invasive Species Act. After passing the Third Reading on October 21, 2015, the Bill has promptly received the Royal Assent necessary for its approval. The first of its kind, Ontario’s Invasive Species Act fills a large legislative gap that addresses the need for provincial authority to deal holistically with invasive species. There is no similar comprehensive instrument anywhere in Canada at the federal or provincial levels that condenses the authority to deal with invasive species. By implementing this Act, Ontario will take a large step forward to proactively prevent invasions and expedite the response when invasions occur. The Invasive Species Centre’s own work to prevent harmful invasive species impacts on Canada’s environment, economy and society will be bolstered by this appropriate systemic change in the province of Ontario. 

Because of its geography and trade centres, Ontario is especially at risk for the significant, far-reaching environmental and socio-economic impacts that invasive species cause. This Act gives Ontario the tools and authorities needed to intercept and quickly respond to invasive species by: having the ability to classify the threat level of a species, prohibiting the import and possession of significant-threat species, and by providing the Minister with the power to implement a temporary-threat designation to a newly discovered invader. By passing the Invasive Species Act, Ontario is taking necessary action to limit the costs and impacts of invasive species, and protect Ontario’s environment, economy and society for its citizens and future generations. The Act will come into effect in one year. 

The approved Bill and Invasive Species Centre presentation to the Standing Committee on Social Policy can be accessed online for further reading.    


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