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Do the Chinese Have Answers on Combating Asian Carp
On February 23, 2012, President Barack Obama made a decision to allocate $51.5 million to eradicate the invasive species, Asian Carp. This was great news for lakes and people of the Great Lakes and Mississippi Rivers basins, but left Chinese citizens wondering why we don’t “export it to China to pay for their national debt.”

Imported in the 1970’s by American catfish farmers, the Asian Carp are voracious eaters and were set loose in catfish pens to eat the algae. In the 1980’s floods allowed the carp to enter the Mississippi River where – for three decades – they’ve been eating their way up American watersheds, disrupting every ecosystem in their path. Now, the Asian carp are close to entering the Great Lakes, causing concern that the lakes’ delicate ecosystem could forever be altered if these bottom feeders aren’t stopped.

While America will spend over $51 million to eradicate the Asian carp, the staple in Chinese diets has become very expensive as populations dwindle in China. China’s Ministry of Water Resources conceded that 40% of the nation’s rivers failed to meet its minimum quality standards. Fish don’t thrive in polluted waters, and those that survive aren’t the ones that you’d want to eat.

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