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6 Jul, 2007 15:09

Asian Carp invades Illinois

Asian carps have invaded the river waters in the American state of Illinois. Some of the fish can reach one metre in length and weigh up to 40 kilogrammes. But they've become a real problem for local fishermen ever since they started leaping three metres

For most of the fishermen, their job has become near impossible without a solid boat and a special vest. A population of Asian carps has claimed these waters as its own, and is not willing to give them back without a fight.

A biologist Matt Ohara, who has been attacked by one of the fish, says the situation is close to disastrous. He adds this fish could even break your ribs, nose or bust teeth when jumping out of the water.

In order to survive, this carp population consumes most of the food on the river’s bottom. Asian carps entered Illinois’s waters as exotic species, but have managed to turn the ecosystem round, making the local population of fish the exotic ones.

“Asian carps are a huge problem for us. They came in about from early 1990-ies to mid 1990-ies and since 2000 they’ve really exploded in population abundances out here. Right now the current estimate is about 10,000,” Greg Sas, a biology station supervisor, said.      

The large population of Asian carps seems to be moving towards the Great Lakes near Chicago. Experts say that could cause a real catastrophe, and around $US 16 MLN needed to prevent it.

Nevertheless, Washington has refused to give any money so the only reasonable way for locals to resolve the issue is to invite as many fishermen as possible.