is the VOA Special English Agriculture Report.
week our subject was illegal fishing. Now we report on two cases where fish are
both the victims and the offenders.
first involves two kinds of Asian carp, bighead and silver. They can grow more
than a meter long and weigh up to forty-five kilos. They eat huge amounts of
plankton that other fish need to survive. Silver carp can also jump high and
Asian carp were brought to the United
States in the nineteen seventies as a solution. They were imported to eat algae
and other microscopic organisms. They were put to work as cleaners at fish
farms along the Mississippi River and in wastewater treatment systems.
But now the fish
are moving north toward the Great Lakes. They are making their way up a system
built years ago to link the Mississippi to Lake Michigan.
dangers of an invasion are environmental and economic. The destructive carp
could spread within the Great Lakes and threaten fishing and trade.
Army Corps of Engineers has put an electric fence in the Chicago Sanitary and
Ship Canal. The underwater barrier is meant to shock the carp into turning
back. Only one Asian carp was found among many thousands of fish killed with
poison while part of the fence was being serviced.
The barrier, however, may not be
enough to protect the Great Lakes. There are calls in Congress for emergency
action. Officials could close shipping connections between Lake Michigan and
the upper Mississippi River system. But there are no decisions yet.
that is the situation in the Midwest. Farther west, the problem is with common
carp. Officials in Utah want to remove around three-fourths of the carp from
Utah Lake. The lake, near the city of Provo, is the largest natural body of
freshwater in the state.
state wants to remove millions of carp to protect an endangered species native
only to Utah Lake, the June sucker fish. The carp eat plants that the suckers use
as hiding places.
were first put into the lake in the eighteen eighties as a food source. Now there
are so many, experts say up to twenty metric tons a day could be removed with
nets over a period of several years.
But officials are fishing
for ideas about what to do with all those fish, which could get pretty smelly.
Ideas include using them to fill land or making them into liquid fertilizer or letting
people eat them.
You can share your own suggestions at
And that's the VOA Special English Agriculture
Report, written by Jerilyn Watson. I'm Jim Tedder.