Michigan Radio News

NPR News

« Interview: Rebecca Humphries - 12/5/06 | Main | Interview: Mike Ferner - 12/6/06 »

December 05, 2006


Feed You can follow this conversation by subscribing to the comment feed for this post.

Right on!

Hear Hear! At some point, common sense and our children's children need to be driving policy.

Right on, contd:

Unfortunately, however, stopping ballast transfer from the lower lakes to the upper will only slow and not stop the spread of VHS: fish swim, e.g., salmon stocked in Lake Erie are reported in Lake Michigan; walleye move regularly between Saginaw Bay and Lake St. Clair.

It would be great if ships could do their best to not spread VHS among the Great Lakes, however our ship-ballast priorities should be two-fold:

(1) stop import of new species into the Great Lakes. There are more to come, e.g., scientists predict we will one day greet Europe's Dikerogammarus villosus, which is feared may quickly munch through recently rehabilitated mayfly propulations. (Mayflies are an important fish food. The Great Lakes are already losing other important fish foods, e.g., Diporiea.)

(2) stop export of Great Lakes species elsewhere. Our valued species are exotic if introduced to other ecosystems. In addition, the Great Lakes now have two rather unique pests and pathogens that could be introduced to east coast or European harbors by infected fish taken up in the ballast water of ships, e.g., our particularly virulent strain of VHS (kills many fish species), the parasite Heterosporis (renders many fish species unpalatable). (The Herpes virus EEDV (kills young lake trout) is also unique to the Great Lakes, but lake trout are less likely, I think, to be taken up in ballast water.)

Canada and the United States have spent billions cleaning up Great Lakes pollution, controlling sea lamprey, and attempting to rebuild devastated fish stocks. We should be enjoying fruits of these efforts, but instead GLs aquatic communities are reeling from one invader after another. Invasions like extinctions are permanent changes, and unfortunately, as Andy and Jack wrote, exotic species such as sea lamprey and zebra mussels and VHS are now part of our childrens' inheritance...

The comments to this entry are closed.

A Production of

***UPDATE 9/2/09: Read the user agreement, effective immediately.***

The Podcast


April 2011

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30