Toronto, ON – The two fertile grass carp found near Toronto’s waterfront this week is a critical warning sign: If we don’t take action to stop the invasive Asian carp now, we are putting the future of Canada’s waters in jeopardy.
Action is needed from the provincial and federal governments. Ontario should quickly pass its proposed Invasive Species Act, which would give the province additional powers to protect communities from invasive species through prevention, early detection, and quick response. 
In addition, the federal and provincial governments need to work with their U.S. counterparts to establish a permanent barrier in the Chicago Area Waterway System. This barrier would separate the carp-infested waters of the Mississippi River from the Great Lakes. It is the only long-term solution to this problem.
If Asian Carp are able to establish reproducing populations, this invasive species could wreak havoc on the province’s $2.2 billion recreational fishing industry, destroy habitat, and threaten the $16 billion bi-national boating industry. Grass carp, in particular, are voracious eaters. They eat constantly, leaving nothing for native species.
A population as small as ten male and ten female fish are enough to establish a new breeding population. No one should buy, sell, or transport live Asian carp. Anglers must follow baiting rules such as dumping bait buckets far away from the water. Individuals should report potential sightings through the Ontario’s Invasive Species Awareness Program at http://www.invadingspecies.com.
To learn more about the threat of an Asian Carp invasion and what can be done, please download Environmental Defence’s report, Tipping the Scales: How Canada and Ontario Can Prevent an Asian Carp Invasion of the Great Lakes at environmentaldefence.ca/asiancarp.
About ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENCE (environmentaldefence.ca): Environmental Defence is Canada’s most effective environmental action organization. We challenge, and inspire change in government, business and people to ensure a greener, healthier and prosperous life for all.
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For more information or to arrange an interview please contact:
Jen Mayville, Environmental Defence, 416-323-9521 ext. 228; 905-330-0172 (cell); jmayville@environmentaldefence.ca